Cairnfield on Ravock, 600m south east of Ravock Castle, Bowes Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016610

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield on Ravock, 600m south east of Ravock Castle, Bowes Moor
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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 95594 13753

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, 600m south east of Ravock Castle, Bowes Moor 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.


The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield at the south edge of the upland plateau of Ravock, Bowes Moor, 600m south east of Ravock Castle. It is 200m west of a larger cairnfield which is the subject of a separate scheduling on the same plateau. The cairnfield consists of at least ten cairns and two rubble banks. The cairns are concentrated towards the south edge of the cairnfield, along the lip of the plateau. The two rubble banks are north of this, forming two sides of a rectangle. The cairns are between 2m and 5m in diameter and typically 0.5m high. The banks are typically 2m wide and 0.2m high. The combination of small cairns and linear banks indicates that this complex is the remains of a prehistoric field system.

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: 31820

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing