Ring cairn, on Eston Moor 1.3 km north of Mill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011277

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn, on Eston Moor 1.3 km north of Mill Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Guisborough

National Grid Reference: NZ 56161 17278


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

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite some recent spoil dumping, the ring cairn on Eston Moor survives in a good state of preservation. Its archaeological deposits survive intact, and evidence of the date and manner of construction and the nature and duration of use will be preserved within the central area and within and beneath the stone bank. This monument is one of very few ring cairns known in Cleveland, and will contain important information to aid our understanding of the diversity and complexity of Bronze Age ritual and funerary practices. The importance of this monument is enhanced by the survival of other Bronze Age funerary monuments, of different form, in the immediate vicinity. This evidence provides a clear indication of the extent of Bronze Age settlement and activity in the area.


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


The monument includes a ring cairn of Bronze Age date situated on an area of flat moorland. The ring cairn measures 16m in diameter; the annular bank, composed of small stones and earth, is 3 metres thick and stands to a height of 0.2m. It encloses a hollow central area measuring 10m in diameter. The burials which were deposited within the central area are not visible but will survive as buried features below the ground surface. There is no surface trace of an internal or external stone kerb revettment. The track immediately to the west of the ring cairn is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 20854

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Vyner, B E, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age activity on the Eston Hills, Cleveland, , Vol. 63, (1991)
No. 0067,

End of official listing