Prehistoric cairnfield 700m south west of North Ings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015990

Date first listed: 26-Jul-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jun-1997


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric cairnfield 700m south west of North Ings
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Commondale


National Grid Reference: NZ 64462 10537


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

Reasons for Designation

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 on occasion their distribution pattern 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 from 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 associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

This cairnfield includes a range of well preserved cairns and burial mounds. Significant remains of the original form of the cairns and of the earlier land use beneath them will be preserved. The larger burial mounds will contain important information about the burials themselves and the ritual and burial practices of thier builders. The monument lies within a wider prehistoric landscape which includes burial mounds, further cairnfields and field systems and linear boundaries. Similar groupings of monuments are known elsewhere in the north and central areas of the North York Moors. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for understanding the development and exploitation of the land for social ritual and economic purposes in different geographical areas during the Prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield situated on the ridge at the south end of Commondale Moor. The cairnfield comprises a group of at least 42 sub-circular mounds of stones spread over an area approximately 350m north west to south east by 120m north east to south west. The majority of the mounds are concentrated in a large group at the north of the monument with a smaller group at the south and isloated individual mounds lying in between. The cairns vary in size from 3m to 8m in diameter and are up to 1.2m high. They are constructed from small to medium sized stones and some are built around naturally occourring earthfast boulders. The smaller mounds are the result of clearing the ground of stones in order to improve it for pasture and cultivation. Some of the larger mounds are identified as burial mounds. The cairnfield lies in an area in which other prehistoric monuments are also located. These include further cairnfields and field systems, round barrows and linear boundaries. The surface of the track crossing the monument is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 29520

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 92-123

End of official listing