This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

The Bridestones Neolithic chambered long cairn.

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: The Bridestones Neolithic chambered long cairn.

List entry Number: 1011115


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cheshire East

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Congleton

County: Staffordshire

District: Staffordshire Moorlands

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Biddulph

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 08-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Sep-1993

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13500

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Stone long cairns were constructed as drystone mounds covering stone-built tombs, often megalithic in character, which served as vaults or chambers in which successive burials or cremations were placed during the Early Neolithic period (3400 - 2400BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated they appear to have been used for the burial of only certain privileged members of the community, often with only partial human remains selected for interment. It is probable, therefore, that these monuments acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long cairns and long barrows, the earthen equivalents of the stone cairns, are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structures to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long cairns are considered to be nationally important. Despite the removal of the covering cairn, the Bridestones long cairn retains important features including its internal burial chambers and the entrance features which provided access into the monument. It is an unusual outlier to the main regional groupings of such megalithic long cairns, these lying mainly further south, in Wales or the Cotswold - Severn areas, or further north, in south-western or western Scotland.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument is the Bridestones Neolithic chambered long cairn located on the western flank of Cloud Hill, a ridge forming a prominent northern extension of Biddulph Moor, with extensive views across the Cheshire plain to the west. The monument includes a chambered tomb measuring 6m x 2.7m made of large stone slabs set on edge and divided into two by a now broken cross slab. South of the chamber's entrance is a portal stone standing 3m high while north of the entrance is a re-positioned portal stone 1.2m high. To the east of the chamber is a forecourt originally surrounded by a complete or partial circle of stones of which 3 survive. Limited excavation of the forecourt during the 1930's revealed cobbling which included a charcoal layer containing flint blades and a flint scraper. The long cairn covering the chamber was recorded in 1764 as being c.110m long x 11m wide. It was largely carted away for roadmaking that year. A second chamber in the centre of the mound was recorded as measuring c.2.2m square x 1m high and a third chamber was noticed in 1766. A plan of the monument in 1766 shows four portal stones - two north and two south of the chamber's entrance. The forecourt was surrounded by six stones in semi-circular form with two conjectural stones completing the circle. Two stones stood within the circle and two stood outside the circle to the east. A drystone wall, all fences and information signs are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Dunlop, M, 'Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc' in , , Vol. 53, (1939), 14-24
Malbon, T, 'Antiqua Restuarata' in Antiqua Restuarata, (1766), 319-20
Thompson, FH, 'History of Congleton' in The Archaeology of the Congleton Area, (1970), 3-5
Capstick, B, AM 107, (1985)
Congleton Chronicle,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)

National Grid Reference: SJ 90589 62190


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011115 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 16-Aug-2018 at 09:05:06.

End of official listing