Cairnfield and associated remains, 250m south east of Bragg House, Barningham Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017419.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 12-Aug-2020 at 22:03:15.


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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 07498 09706

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.

Funerary cairns date to the Bronze Age (c. 2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands. Their considerable variation in form, and longevity as a monument type, provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. In the uplands of northern England a wide variety of prehistoric enclosures may be found. These range from relatively large, regular enclosures with earth and stone banks, to smaller, irregular areas enclosed by boulder walls. Most are dated to the Bronze Age, Iron Age or early Romano-British period (2000 BC-200 AD). The larger regular enclosures tend to be dated towards the later part of this period, the smaller irregular enclosures towards the beginning. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classses provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and land use among prehistoric communities. The cairnfield, cairns and prehistoric enclosure 250m south east of Bragg House form an important part of the archaeological features on Barningham Moor. The cairnfield and cairns survive well and will contribute to our knowledge of prehistoric burial practice. The enclosure survives well and will contribute to our knowledge of prehistoric agricultural practices. The features in this area form an important part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous prehistoric carved rocks and evidence for prehistoric burials, settlements and the agricultural use of the land. This site will therefore contribute to studies of such prehistoric landscapes and the changing patterns of land use over time.


The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield, an enclosure, and four individual cairns. It is situated on Barningham Moor, 250m south east of Bragg House. The cairnfield is small, with adjacent rubble walling, on and around a low ridge. There are at least six cairns, measuring between 4m and 5m in diameter and all about 0.4m high. They are composed of sandstone rubble. In two cases this has been piled around a sandstone boulder. The rubble banks are up to 3m wide and 0.2m high. They appear to represent a later division of the land. There are three stretches of bank; the longest, just south of the ridge, is approximately 44m long. The shortest is on the north side of the ridge and is 4m long. The prehistoric enclosure is rubble banked, 185m long and 125m wide, enclosing a small knoll known as Brown Hill, 400m ESE of Bragg House. It may represent the prehistoric division of land. The enclosure is an irregular shape, as the rubble bank follows the base of the slope of Brown Hill. On the south side the base of the slope is less clear, and the bank appears to run in a relatively straight line from the south east to the south west corner of the enclosure. It is however only traceable for part of the length of this side. The rubble bank is between 2m and 3m wide, and typically 0.3m high. It is heather clad for most of its length. A short stretch of boulder wall is associated with the enclosure on its west side. Three of the individual cairns have diameters of 5m, and are 0.4m high. the fourth cairn is larger, with a diameter of about 10m an a height of 0.4m. All the cairns have been robbed for stone, in three cases leaving a circular rubble bank. The stone built grouse butts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Laurie, T, 'Archaeological Newsbulletin Series 2' in Archaeological Newsbulletin CBA Regional Group Three, , Vol. 3, (1977), 11
Cairnfields on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)
Cairns on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)
Enclosures on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].