Cairnfield 970m north west of Green's House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018096

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield 970m north west of Green's House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Outseats

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 22406 84583


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 970m south west of Green's House survives in good condition and is associated with linear clearance banks, indicating that the area contained a system of small field plots. As such, it is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural practices.


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


The monument includes the remains of a prehistoric field system dated to the Bronze Age, located on land gently shelving to the south east. In addition to several clearance cairns, the scheduling also includes at least two short stretches of linear clearance embankment. The field system is located in a stone free area within which are at least eight small cairns ranging between 2.5m and 6m in diameter. Most cairns, especially the smaller examples, appear to survive undisturbed. One of the cairns on the western side of the cairnfield is larger than the others, indicating that it may have been reused for funerary purposes. It has a diameter of approximately 7m and has been disturbed at its centre. The evidence for stone clearance and the survival of two short lengths of linear clearance indicate that the site was used for cultivation and divided into field plots. One stretch of linear clearance forms a distinct lynchet, indicating that the area to the north west was either a levelled terrace or a build up of soil on the downslope of a field plot created by extensive ploughing. The stone cleared area extends to the south east of the cairnfield indicating that contemporary agricultural activities extended beyond the area of protection. About 300m to the south east are the remains of another cairnfield, also containing clearance embankments.

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: 31225

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 27
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 27

End of official listing