Prehistoric round cairn on Whitfell


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017182

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric round cairn on Whitfell
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2019 at 09:18:03.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland (District Authority)

Parish: Ulpha

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland (District Authority)

Parish: Waberthwaite

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SD 15885 92982


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 disturbance to the monument's summit by construction of a modern cairn and shelter, the prehistoric round cairn on Whitfell survives well. It will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mound and upon the old landsurface beneath.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn located on the summit of Whitfell. It consists of a circular mound of stones 25m in diameter and up to 2m high which is kerbed along its western edge. On the cairn's highest point a modern cairn and shelter have been constructed by fellwalkers from the stones which originally formed part of the prehistoric cairn.

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: 32842

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wainwright, A, The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, (1974), 156-61

End of official listing