Long cairn 330m east of Mossthorn

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1012818
Date first listed:
31-Dec-1952
Date of most recent amendment:
07-Feb-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long cairn 330m east of Mossthorn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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.

County:
Cumbria
District:
Eden (District Authority)
Parish:
Catterlen
National Grid Reference:
NY 48258 30606

Reasons for Designation

Long cairns were constructed as elongated rubble mounds and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (c.3400-2400 BC). 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, long cairns appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Long cairns sometimes display evidence of internal structural arrangements, including stone-lined compartments and tomb chambers constructed from massive slabs. Some examples also show edge-set kerb stones bounding parts of the cairn perimeter. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funeral activity preceding construction of the cairn, and consequently it is probable that long cairns acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long cairns and long barrows, their counterparts in central and eastern England, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as a visible monument and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all positively identified long cairns are considered to be nationally important.

Despite some quarrying of the monument's western side, the long cairn 330m east of Mossthorn survives reasonably well. It is one of a number of surviving Neolithic and later prehistoric monuments situated in close proximity to Penrith and the Eden valley, and attests to the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

Details

The monument includes a partly mutilated long cairn located on Copt How ridge 330m east of Mossthorn. It is aligned north west - south east and includes a turf-covered mound of cobbles and earth measuring 33m along its long axis by 20m wide and 1.5m - 2m high. A number of urns were reportedly discovered here several years ago but their present whereabouts is unknown.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
23765
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
FMW Report, Crow, J, Long cairns E of Mossthorn Farm, (1985)
SMR Ref. No. 3792, Cumbria SMR, Long cairns E of Mossthorn Farm, (1984)

Legal

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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