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Stockdale Moor prehistoric cairnfields, field systems, unenclosed cairn cemetery, ring cairns and funerary cairns

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Stockdale Moor prehistoric cairnfields, field systems, unenclosed cairn cemetery, ring cairns and funerary cairns

List entry Number: 1018503

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ennerdale and Kinniside

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 02-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27826

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post- medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as nationally important.

Stockdale Moor prehistoric cairnfields, field systems, unenclosed cairn cemetery, ring cairns and funerary cairns survive well and form part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric settlements, cairnfields and field systems which extend over Town Bank and Stockdale Moor. The monument contains a complex and diverse group of prehistoric monument classes and together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times. It will contribute greatly to any further study of prehistoric settlement patterns within the Lake District.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of six prehistoric stone clearance cairnfields of various sizes, four field systems, three of which are located within separate cairnfields, a small unenclosed cairn cemetery, and numerous other funerary monuments scattered within the cairnfields, including 15 funerary cairns and eight ring cairns. It is located on Stockdale Moor, an expansive area of undulating unenclosed moorland between the River Bleng and Worm Gill, and represents evidence for the prehistoric exploitation of this landscape. At the eastern edge of the monument at NY10850833 there is a `Y'-shaped arrangement of stone banking known as Aaron's Apron. Gaps in the banking similar to entrances together with a stone cairn incorporated within the bank suggest that this feature formed part of a prehistoric field system, parts of which have been identified elsewhere within the cairnfields. The northern cairnfield lies some 850m NNW of Sampson's Bratfull, the largest funerary cairn on Stockdale Moor, and is centred at approximately NY09680887. It consists of a cluster of upwards of 30 clearance cairns amongst which are a group of seven which, by their larger size and better definition, are interpreted as funerary cairns forming an unenclosed cairn cemetery. A short distance to the north west of this cairnfield there is evidence for the remains of a prehistoric field system in the form of an alignment of six clearance-type cairns running across the moor for about 270m; these cairns are interpreted as representing the line of a field boundary in which sporadic patches of stone clearance were piled against a fence or hedge. Between this field boundary and the cairnfield there is a double ring cairn consisting of two ring cairns lying side by side. This feature is paralleled on the north western side of the field boundary where there is also a round funerary cairn. Some 470m NNE of Sampson's Bratfull, centred at approximately NY09960850, there is a second cairnfield; this cairnfield displays evidence of more than one period of stone clearance. In general the cairns at the north west end of this cairnfield are larger, better defined and more widely spaced than the cairns in the centre of the cairnfield. The cairns at the southern end of the cairnfield are located on a ridge and are slightly isolated from the rest of the cairns by a sharp break of slope. Short lengths of stone banking within the cairnfield are considered to be another manifestation of stone clearance. Some 400m north west of Sampson's Bratfull, centred at approximately NY09500825, there is a third cairnfield consisting of small concentrations of clearance cairns totalling about 100 in number which partially surround a predominantly open area interpreted as a contemporary field. At the southern end of the cairnfield there is a ring cairn and at the northern end there is another ring cairn which is situated close to a cluster of three funerary cairns with a fourth lying a short distance to the SSE. The field boundary is represented by three short sections of stone bank between which is an alignment of eight cairns. Just outside the north eastern side of the field there is a ring cairn and two funerary cairns. The fourth and most complex cairnfield lies immediately to the south east of Sampson's Bratfull and is centred at approximately NY09950780. It consists of concentrations of clearance cairns totalling about 250 in number which lie on all but the southern side of two large fields, the western of which has boundaries formed by stone banks and the eastern of which has boundaries formed by a combination of stone banks and a cairn alignment. The western field has few cairns within it but does contain a natural gully, an abundance of surface stone, and is generally considered to be unsuitable for cultivation. The eastern field, however, although containing a moderate concentration of cairns, has well drained land with a uniform and moderate slope which is considered to be acceptable agricultural land; thus the difference between the two fields suggests that they were used for differing agricultural purposes. An area largely but not wholly devoid of cairns lying immediately to the south west of the western field may indicate the site of a third field while a smaller fourth field may be represented by alignments of short lengths of stone bank a short distance to the west. Amongst the clearance cairns forming the cairnfield are three ring cairns, one of which has alternatively been suggested to be a hut circle, and four funerary cairns, one of which, to the south of the two fields, is one of the largest on the moor. This cairn, although disturbed since originally constructed, has short stone banks emerging from the body of the cairn and as such is similar to the `star-fish' funerary cairns found on Askham Fell in the north east of the Lake District. The two remaining cairnfields are small but sufficiently different from each other as to indicate that they belong to distinct cairnfields. The largest is located some 600m north east of Sampson's Bratfull, is centred at approximately NY10370830, and consists of 25 largely peat-covered cairns. By contrast the smaller cairnfield, located some 500m north east of Sampson's Bratfull and centred at approximately NY10300820, consists of 14 cairns, none of which have much peat cover. This suggests that they were created at different times during the prehistoric period. To the west of this latter cairnfield, and aligned along the highest and most prominent part of the moor, are three large funerary cairns, two of which have been disturbed by unrecorded antiquarian investigation. They vary between 8m-14m in diameter and up to 1.9m high and have been deliberately located so as to be visible from a wide area. The largest funerary cairn on Stockdale Moor is Sampson's Bratfull. It measures 25m by 13.5m and up to 1.7m high and is located at NY09840805 on poorly drained ground in a slight hollow close to the head of a stream. Unrecorded antiquarian investigations and an unrecorded investigation during the 1950s have left a number of depressions in the cairn and a stone spoil heap on the cairn's south western side. The prehistoric remains on Stockdale Moor reflect occupation of the landscape over a long period. The larger funerary cairns in particular have forms similar to excavated funerary cairns dated to the Neolithic or early Bronze Age (about 3000-1500 BC). The ring cairns and smaller funerary cairns scattered amongst the cairnfields are considered from comparison with dated examples elsewhere to be dated approximately to the second millennium BC. Although the remains here attest to considerable prehistoric agricultural activity, only one possible habitation structure has been tentatively suggested. This may be an indication that other dwelling structures were of a non-permanent nature and have not survived as surface evidence.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J A, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1977), 1-9
Quartermaine, J A, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1987), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9

National Grid Reference: NY 10080 08156

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 02:43:54.

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