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Ring cairn and cairnfield on Eaglestone Flat, 270m east of Eagle Stone

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ring cairn and cairnfield on Eaglestone Flat, 270m east of Eagle Stone

List entry Number: 1017112

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Curbar

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Oct-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31260

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The East Moors in Derbyshire includes all the gritstone moors east of the River Derwent. It covers an area of 105 sq km, of which around 63% is open moorland and 37% is enclosed. As a result of recent and on-going archaeological survey, the East Moors area is becoming one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the enclosed land the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but survive sufficiently well to show that early human activity extended beyond the confines of the open moors. On the open moors there is significant and well-articulated evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of the gritstone uplands from the Neolithic to the post-medieval periods. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most intensive use of the moorlands. Evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairnfields in northern England as well settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains which, together, provide a detailed insight into life in the Bronze Age. Also of importance is the well preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods since this provides an insight into successive changes in land use through time. A large number of the prehistoric sites on the moors, because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, will be identified as nationally important.

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas and sometimes occur in pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries and are monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting associated with the burial ritual. As a relatively rare class of monument, exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of protection.

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 land surface to improve its use for agriculture and on occasions their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. Occasionally, some of the cairns were used for funerary purposes although without excavation it is difficult to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC) although the majority date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). Cairnfields can also retain information concerning the development of land use and agricultural practices as well as the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

The ring cairn and cairnfield on Eaglestone Flat, 270m east of Eagle Stone, are reasonably well preserved, despite some disturbance by later hollow ways and provide evidence for both ritual and agricultural activity. Together, the remains will contribute to our understanding of prehistoric agriculture and settlement on the gritstone moors of the Peak District.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn standing at the northern end of a small cairnfield. Together, they are interpreted as evidence for both ritual and agricultural activity during the Bronze Age.

The ring cairn stands at the northern end of an area of cleared ground in otherwise stony moorland located to the north of a gritstone escarpment. It measures approximately 17.5m in diameter externally and comprises a bank of stone and turf with a level interior. The bank stands approximately 0.5m-0.6m high and is 2.5m wide, leaving an internal diameter of approximately 12.5m. The southern half of the structure is complete whereas the northern end has been damaged in places by braids of a now disused hollow way. The extreme northern end of the ring cairn has been truncated by a particularly deep hollow way. There is no sign of an original entrance although such may have been utilised by one or more braids of the hollow way.

To the south, east and west of the ring cairn stand at least five small cairns of about 2m in diameter or less, most of which appear to be undisturbed. Further cairns may be masked by thick heather. The cairns occupy a slight ridge of stone-cleared ground which stands in marked contrast to its surroundings. A well-defined edge to the cleared area is visible to the west of the cairnfield indicating that the eastern end of the ridge was utilised for agricultural purposes.

The remains are interpreted as evidence for Bronze Age settlement and agriculture with the ring cairn used for ceremonial purposes. Further evidence for prehistoric settlement exists on the same moorlands, separated from the cairnfield by areas of boggy ground.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Excavation Of A Bronze Age Unenclosed Cemetery 1989-1990, , Vol. 60, (1994), 356-8
Barnatt, J W, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Excavation Of A Bronze Age Unenclosed Cemetery 1989-1990, , Vol. 60, (1994), 356-8
Barnatt, J W, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Excavation Of A Bronze Age Unenclosed Cemetery 1989-1990, , Vol. 60, (1994), 356-8
Barnatt, J W, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Excavation Of A Bronze Age Unenclosed Cemetery 1989-1990, , Vol. 60, (1994), 356-8
Other
Sidebottom, PC, A Ringcairn and Cairnfield on Eaglestone Flat, 1998, unpublished survey notes
Sidebottom, PC, A Ringcairn and Cairnfield on Eaglestone Flat, 1998, unpublished survey notes

National Grid Reference: SK 26529 73877

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 07:31:21.

End of official listing