Cairnfield including ring cairn and carved rocks on Low Plain, Baildon Moor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012686

Date first listed: 03-Oct-1935

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Aug-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield including ring cairn and carved rocks on Low Plain, Baildon Moor
© 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.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Baildon

National Grid Reference: SE 13916 40289

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Rombalds Moor is an eastern outlier of the main Pennine range lying between the valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire. The bulk of this area of 90 sq km of rough moorland lies over 200m above sea level. The moor is particularly rich in remains of prehistoric activity. The most numerous relics are the rock carvings which can be found on many of the boulders and outcrops scattered across the moor. Burial monuments, stone circles and a range of enclosed settlements are also known. Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and occasionally their distribution can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed during the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and association of cairnfields provide important information on the development and associations of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

Prehistoric field systems in the north of England take a variety of forms. Regular and irregular types of prehistoric field systems are widespread throughout the Pennine Range. Regular field systems with rectilinear fields bounded by low rubble banks are particularly typical of the southern Pennine areas. They are considered to date from the Iron Age or the Romano-British period. Closer dating may be provided by their relationships to other classes of monument which were in use for shorter periods of time. Field systems are particularly representative of their period and provide an important insight into early farming practice and the way in which the wider landscape was subdivided and used. Prehistoric rock carving is found on natural boulders and rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in Northumberland, Durham, and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the `cup' marking, where small cup-like hollows are worked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the rings may also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Other shapes and patterns also occur but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. All positively identified prehistoric rock carvings sites will normally be identified as nationally important. This cairnfield survives well and forms an important part of the prehistoric landscape on Rombalds Moor. The field system has been damaged by later stone robbing and coal mining activity; much, however, still remains, and it presents important evidence for the later prehistoric exploitation of this part of Rombalds Moor. The carvings on all 25 carved rocks survive well, and they will make an important contribution to the understanding of the wider grouping of carved rocks. Together these remains form one of the tightest groupings of prehistoric remains in this area of moorland. It will provide a significant insight into prehistoric activity in the area.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a cairnfield containing a ring cairn, a disturbed round barrow, a field system and at least 25 carved rocks. The cairnfield occupies most of Low Plain, north of Dobrudden caravan park. It consists of at least 19 small cairns with diameters in the range of 3m to 5m, an excavated ring cairn of c.10m diameter, and a disturbed round barrow of c.18m diameter. Excavation of the ring cairn in the 19th century produced an urn containing cremated human remains. The field system is visible as a series of low stony banks, predominantly orientated approximately north west to south east. It includes one circular bank c.5m diameter, which may be a hut circle. The banks are generally low and broad, typically 0.3m or less in height and up to 3m wide. The carved rocks are all in the cup and ring tradition, though designs consisting mainly of cup marks predominate. The carved rocks are concentrated in the western half of the cairnfield.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 25410

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 111
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 111
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 112
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 113
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 113
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 114
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 114
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 51
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 51
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 51
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 51
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 52
Colls, J M N, 'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia, , Vol. 31, (1846), 299
Colls, J M N, 'Archaeologia' in Early Remains Discovered in Yorkshire, (1846), Plate 8
Colls, J M N, 'Archaeologia' in Early Remains Discovered in Yorkshire, (1846)

End of official listing