Round cairn on Birkrigg Common, 520m north west of High Sunbrick Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013965

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on Birkrigg Common, 520m north west of High Sunbrick Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Urswick

National Grid Reference: SD 28346 74323


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

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 unrecorded investigation at the centre of the monument, the round cairn 520m north west of High Sunbrick Farm survives reasonably well. It will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mound and upon the old land surface beneath.


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


The monument includes a round cairn located on the summit plateau of the highest point on Birkrigg Common lying 350m west of Appleby Slack. It includes a turf covered slightly oval-shaped mound of limestone rubble measuring 11.5m east-west by 11m north-south and up to 0.8m high. A small outcrop of limestone bedrock has been used to form a kerb around the north eastern side of the cairn. At the centre of the mound there is an irregular-shaped small hollow indicating the position of an unrecorded investigation of the monument.

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: 27692

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gelderd, C, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Some Birkrigg Barrows, , Vol. XIV, (1914), 466-79
Cumbria SMR, Birkrigg, (1986)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)

End of official listing