Two standing stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012826

Date first listed: 21-Oct-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Two standing stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Clifton

National Grid Reference: NY 53140 25929


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

Reasons for Designation

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Despite past disturbance by a combination of re-erection of one of the standing stones, plough disturbance and limited excavation, the two standing stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands survive reasonably well. This excavation located human remains, and further evidence of interments will exist within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath. The monument is one of a number of 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.


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


The monument includes two standing stones and an adjacent round cairn located on flat land south of Crooklands. The northern of the two standing stones measures 1.6m wide by 0.73m thick and is 1.77m high. The southern stone measures 1m wide by 0.57m thick and is 1.23m high. The stones lie 2.34m apart. Limited excavation at the site in 1977 prior to re-erection of the southern stone revealed a previously unsuspected small oval-shaped cairn measuring 4m by 3.2m situated immediately to the east of the standing stones. Although suffering from plough damage which had destroyed its upper part, the cairn was found to be composed of small stones laid in circles around a central area of larger stones and surrounded by the remains of a kerb of unshaped boulders. In the cairn's central area was a large amount of burnt bone, the quantity of which suggested to the excavator the remains of several humans.

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: 23773

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fairclough, G J, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Excavation of Standing Stones and Cairn at Clifton, Cumbria 1977, , Vol. 79, (1979), 1-4
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)

End of official listing