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.

Cairn group 330m south-east of Bellshiel Law

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: Cairn group 330m south-east of Bellshiel Law

List entry Number: 1011404

Location

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

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Rochester

National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Mar-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Mar-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20933

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

Round cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age. They comprise groups of cairns sited in close proximity to one another and take the form of stone mounds constructed to cover single or multiple burials. Contemporary or later `flat' graves may lie between individual cairns. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time and they can exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form. Occasionally they are associated with earlier long cairns. They may also be associated with clearance cairns - heaps of stones cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for agricultural activities; these were also being constructed during the Bronze Age, although some examples are of later date. It may be impossible without excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round cairn cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Often occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite some damage caused by stone robbing, the Bellshiel Law cairn group survives reasonably well. The individual cairns retain significant archaeological deposits and the areas between, where further flat graves may exist, are undisturbed. Valuable evidence relating to the construction of the cemetery and the nature and duration of its use will survive. Information on the relationship of this site with the adjacent Neolithic long barrow will also survive.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a discrete group of six cairns situated on a south- facing slope below the crest of a ridge. The cairns are visible as low grassy mounds measuring between 0.3m and 0.5m across and between 0.2m to 0.7m in height. One cairn, more substantial than the others, is irregularly shaped and measures 11.5m east to west by 8.0m and stands 0.7m high. This cairn was excavated in 1935 revealing it to be surrounded by a stone kerb and containing an entrance passage of large stones. A flint implement was uncovered on the natural soil beneath the cairn. Historic accounts suggest that there were formerly more round cairns but some were destroyed for road metal earlier this century.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Newbigin, N, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 13' in Excavations on a long and round cairn on Bellshiel law, (1936), 306-308
Other
NT 80 SW 08,

National Grid Reference: NT 81438 01053

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1011404 .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 23-Nov-2017 at 09:49:45.

End of official listing