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Monks Graves prehistoric cairn cemetery, cairnfields, field system, funerary cairns and a ring cairn on Stockdale Moor

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: Monks Graves prehistoric cairn cemetery, cairnfields, field system, funerary cairns and a ring cairn on Stockdale Moor

List entry Number: 1018504

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-Dec-1998

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27827

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.

Monks Graves prehistoric cairn cemetery, cairnfields, field system, funerary cairns and ring 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 Monks Graves prehistoric cairn cemetery, a field system, four stone clearance cairnfields, and other funerary monuments scattered amongst the cairnfields, including five funerary cairns and a ring cairn. 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. Monks Graves prehistoric cairn cemetery is centred at approximately NY09970970 and consists of 18 funerary round cairns measuring a maximum of 7.7m by 5.3m and up to 0.5m high, and two ring cairns up to 10m in diameter and 0.4m high. The cairn cemetery lies within a stone clearance cairnfield consisting of upwards of 40 cairns and there is some surface evidence to suggest that a small number of clearance cairns may have been robbed to provide stone for funerary cairns, thus implying that the clearance cairns predate the funerary monuments. The cairn cemetery and associated cairnfield lie within a field system consisting of two predominantly parallel stone banks 300m and 370m long and 180m-200m apart. A third stone bank, more fragmentary in construction and approximately 830m long, lies to the north and is considered to represent the line of a field boundary in which sporadic lengths of stone clearance were piled against a feature such as a fence or hedge which does not now survive as surface evidence. This field boundary is aligned north east-south west. Three other small clearance cairnfields, each containing about 20 cairns, lie in the vicinity of Monks Graves; one is located some 500m north west of Monks Graves and is centred at approximately NY09641015, a second is located some 330m WNW of Monks Graves and is centred at approximately NY09670985, and a third is located some 530m WSW of Monks Graves and is centred at approximately NY09520946. Funerary monuments are found in each of these cairnfields; the northern one contains a ring cairn, the central one contains a round funerary cairn, and the southern one contains two round funerary cairns. A further two round funerary cairns are located on top of a low ridge between Caw Gill and Cawfell Beck south west of Monks Graves at NY09350926 and NY09380929. The prehistoric remains on Stockdale Moor reflect occupation of the landscape over a long period. The funerary round cairns both within Monks Graves cemetery and scattered amongst the cairnfields are considered from comparison with dated examples elsewhere to be dated approximately to the second millenium BC, whilst one of the ring cairns is paralleled in form with an excavated example from Peebleshire which contained four cremations beneath a central mound and had a carbon date of 1490+-90 bc. This is in accord with other known dates for ring cairns which generally ascribe them to the Bronze Age. Agricultural use of the moor is attested by the presence of the clearance cairns which are smaller and more erratically defined than the funerary monuments and illustrate contrasting uses of the moor during the prehistoric period. Although it is conceivable that the cairn cemetery was in intermittent use at the same time that the surrounding land was used for agriculture, particularly as there is a slight merging of clearance and funerary cairns within Monks Graves, it is perhaps more credible to surmise that the two elements were constructed in different phases, as indeed is suggested in a small number of instances where the surface remains have indicated that clearance cairns have been robbed to provide material for nearby funerary cairns.

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, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9
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 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)

National Grid Reference: NY 09802 09658

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018504 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 08:44:22.

End of official listing