Cairnfield on Ravock, 880m north west of Rovegill House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016609

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield on Ravock, 880m north west of Rovegill House
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 12:49:37.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bowes

National Grid Reference: NY 95961 13911


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.

The cairnfield on Ravock, 880m north west of Rovegill House survives well and will retain significant information on prehistoric land use on the moor. It is also part of a wider prehistoric landscape in the area which includes further cairns and field systems.


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


The monument includes a large prehistoric cairnfield on the south edge of the upland plateau of Ravock, on Bowes Moor, 880m north west of Ravock Castle. The cairnfield consists of at least 80 cairns and several rubble banks. The cairns are between 2m and 7m in diameter and are up to 0.7m high. They are composed of sandstone rubble and boulders. All have had some stone removed in the past for walling. Nine of the cairns are significantly larger, between 10m and 12m in diameter. All of these larger cairns have been robbed for walling stone and survive as sub-circular or crescentic rubble banks. One of the cairns has a derelict modern wall built across it. The rubble banks vary from indistinct stony crests to substantial banks 4m wide and 0.5m high. The combination of cairns and linear banks indicates that the complex is largely the remains of a prehistoric field system although some cairns, particularly the larger ones, may also have been used for burial.

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: 31819

Legacy System: RSM


Ravock, Cleveland County Archaeology Section, A66 Archaeology Project, (1990)

End of official listing