Cairnfield and quarry on Bamford Edge, 720m north of Clough House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018084

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield and quarry on Bamford Edge, 720m north of Clough House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: High Peak (District Authority)

Parish: Bamford

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 21094 84582


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.

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance debris from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. Often their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots, especially when associated with linear clearance banks. Most 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. The cairnfield on Bamford Edge survives well, together with linear clearance embankments, indicating a complex arrangement of field division. As such, it is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural practices. On the Gritstone fringes of the Peak District, small quarries were developed to produce a variety of grinding wheels for commercial and industrial activities, taking advantage of abundant natural outcrops and a highly suitable type of sandstone. Such quarrying is known to be of considerable antiquity, although most of the surviving examples date from the post-medieval or Industrial periods. Although some grinding wheels were produced as millstones for agrarian use, many quarries are situated close to areas of population and industrial growth and thus are important to our understanding of industrial development. This particular example is important because since it was abandoned there appears to have been little or no disturbance to the quarry. There are discarded and unfinished millstones in situ, together with the remains of a quarry-workers' shelter and working areas.


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


The monument includes a group of cairns and short linear embankments close to the Millstone Grit escarpment known as Bamford Edge. The cairnfield is interpreted as clearance associated with Bronze Age agriculture and settlement. Within the area of protection is a disused stone quarry containing evidence for the production of millstones in the post-medieval period. There is a concentration of at least ten small cairns standing between the escarpment of Bamford Edge and a much smaller escarpment to the immediate north east. The ground within the cairnfield is relatively stone-free compared to that of its surroundings. The cairnfield occupies a narrow strip of land on a slight ridge with drainage to the north west and south east. The cairns measure between 2m and 4m in diameter and are distributed in a band following the scarp to the north east. Some of the cairns have been disturbed, others remain intact. All of the cairns appear to have been clearance features, although one disturbed example appears to have an internal kerbed arrangement of stones. There are traces of linear embankment within the cairnfield, interpreted as clearance debris thrown against field plot divisions, which where possibly hedges or fencing. Some of the clearance cairns are contained within the lengths of linear embankments where they take a more ovoid form. The main linear clearance embankment appears to divide the cairnfield along its north west-south east axis. Within the area of protection, and about 10m beyond the southern end of the cairnfield, is a small Millstone Grit escarpment which has been quarried for stone. The quarried area measures approximately 30m wide by 60m in length, along a north-south axis. Within the quarried area are at least three discarded or unfinished flat and slightly domed millstones, the remains of a small stone-built hut and working areas.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 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: 29826

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Heath, J, An Illustrated History of Derbyshire, (1993), 55-7
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 25-6

End of official listing