Round cairn on Appleby Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jul-2019 at 01:29:14.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- South Lakeland (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 28916 74347
Reasons for Designation
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. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. 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. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.
Despite limited investigation of the monument, the round cairn on Appleby Hill survives reasonably well. This investigation located human remains, pottery and a bronze tatooing awl, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath.
The monument includes a round cairn located on Birkrigg Common towards the
northern end of a ridge known as Appleby Hill. It includes a turf and bracken
covered oval-shaped mound of limestone rubble measuring 13.5m north west -
south east by 12m north east - south west and up to 1m high. Limited
investigation of the cairn undertaken in 1912 found a circle of standing
stones measuring approximately 3.7m in diameter arranged upon the old
land surface. Within this circle were upwards of 30 small deposits of black
earth each covered by a large stone or a stone slab. Some of these black earth
deposits were mixed with charcoal and some contained fragments of pottery; in
practically every case red, green or quartz pebbles were found with the black
earth. To the east, and outside the stone circle, human teeth and fragments of
pot tempered with pyrites were found on the old landsurface. Within the body
of the cairn fragments of bones from three human interments; an adult, a young
person and a child, were found together with a bronze pin interpreted as a
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Gelderd, C, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Some Birkrigg Barrows, , Vol. XIV, (1914), 478-72
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
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