Two adjacent ring cairns on Riddings Rigg, Reeth Low Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012615

Date first listed: 04-Jul-1995


Ordnance survey map of Two adjacent ring cairns on Riddings Rigg, Reeth Low Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh


National Grid Reference: NZ 02447 00356


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.

Although the larger ring cairn is no longer entire, these are on the whole well preserved examples of this monument type and will contain further archaeological remains.


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


Two adjacent ring cairns are situated on a gentle north facing slope overlooking the intersection of lower Arkengarthdale and Swaledale. The larger ring cairn includes a 2m wide bank 0.3m high on the north and west sides. On the south west side the bank is completely eroded away. External curbstones are visible on the north and east sides. The monument has a diameter of 16m. The smaller ring cairn is joined to the north east bank of the larger ring cairn. The monument has a bank 2.5m wide, best preserved on its north west side. Inner curb stones are visible in its south bank. The monument has a diameter of 6m.

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: 24542

Legacy System: RSM


Laurie, T, (1993)

End of official listing