Bronze Age field system, 400m south east of Ladybower Inn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018214

Date first listed: 21-Aug-1998


Ordnance survey map of Bronze Age field system, 400m south east of Ladybower Inn
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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 20770 86292


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 field system 400m south east of Ladybower Inn 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.


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


The monument includes a cairnfield and linear clearance banks situated within a stone-cleared area. Together they form the remains of a prehistoric field system, dating to the Bronze Age. The cairnfield is located on two adjacent shelves of land between which is a small but relatively steep escarpment, dividing it into two main areas. Both shelves face north west and overlook the upper Derwent valley. Although divided into two areas, the remains are interpreted as those of a single field system. The north western part of the field system contains a stone-free area bounded by stretches of linear clearance banks and six or more small cairns. The presence of linear clearance banks indicates that the area was likely to have been divided into field plots and used, at least in part, for cultivation. The field banks were probably created from debris thrown against hedges or fences which no longer survive. At the south western end of the field system are low, irregular, field banks containing orthostats (upright boulders). These are unlikely to be contemporary with the prehistoric field system, but created through partial reuse of the site during the Romano-British period. The remains of a settlement dating to this period stand a short distance to the west. On the south eastern, higher shelf of land there are about six cairns of varying size and a single stretch of linear clearance. The largest cairn measures approximately 6m in diameter and has been disturbed at its centre. The cairns adjoin a stone-free area, indicating that these are also clearance cairns, although one or more of the larger cairns may have been used subsequently for funerary purposes. All modern drystone walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 29833

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), 23-4
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 23-4

End of official listing