Cairnfield 710m and 840m south east of Ladybower Inn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018215

Date first listed: 21-Aug-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield 710m and 840m 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 20716 85856, SK 20890 85796


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 710m and 840m south east of Ladybower Inn survives in good condition and 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 cairnfield, dated to the Bronze Age. The cairnfield overlooks the upper Derwent valley to the west and occupies two spurs of land separated by a small, but relatively steep, escarpment. It is therefore in two separate areas of protection. However, the two areas are interpreted as part of a single field system. The western area of the cairnfield consists of a stone-free area within which are at least seven small cairns ranging between 2m and 5m in diameter. The evidence for stone clearance and the survival of a short length of linear clearance indicates that the site was used for cultivation and may have been divided into field plots. One of the cairns is unusual, being rectangular and having a kerb of gritstone slabs. Most of the cairns appear to be undisturbed. The eastern area of the cairnfield occupies a slightly higher elevation. It contains at least four small cairns in a stone-cleared area within which are linear arrangements of boulders, which may be the remains of linear clearance banks. The cairns are between 2m and 5m in diameter. At the southern edge of the cleared area is another scatter of boulders where large stones appear to have been rolled out of the cultivation area. 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: 29834

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 24-5

End of official listing