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Cairnfield and ring cairn on Danby Rigg, 330m south west of Danby Castle

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Cairnfield and ring cairn on Danby Rigg, 330m south west of Danby Castle

List entry Number: 1018843


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Danby


Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Jan-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Feb-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32613

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

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of 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. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a low circular bank of stone up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside and/or on the outside with small upright boulders and, where excavated, the cairns have been shown to enclose pits containing burials, charcoal and pottery. Ring cairns are interpreted as Early to Middle Bronze Age ritual monuments. They are a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form. The ring cairn and surrounding group of clearance cairns are part of a much larger group of cairns and other Bronze Age monuments on Danby Rigg. The cairns are well-preserved and will retain information about the local prehistoric environment and other archaeological information.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a group of stone clearance cairns and an associated ring cairn at the north eastern end of Danby Rigg, centred 330m to the south west of Danby Castle. It is a detached part of a much larger cairnfield and field system on Danby Rigg, separated from the rest by an improved field enclosed by drystone walls. The remains on Danby Rigg have long been recognised as an extensive and well- preserved Bronze Age landscape and has been investigated on a number of occasions. The whole rigg retains over 800 identified clearance cairns along with a wide range of other features. In the cairnfield, to the north east of the improved field, at least 50 cairns can be identified. These are typically irregular mounds 2m-3m in diameter and up to 0.5m high, the piles of stones being partly buried in peat. On the 1928 Ordnance Survey map 28 of these cairns are marked. Centred about 10m from a gate through the field wall on the south western side of the monument, there are the low earthworks of a small ring cairn 8m in diameter.

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
Harding, A F, Ostoja-Zagorski, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in Prehistoric and Early Medieval Activity on Danby Rigg, N Yorks, , Vol. 151, (1994), 73-82
Record no 52585.01, N York Moors SMR, Farm Scheme Archaeological Management Survey: Fryup, (1998)

National Grid Reference: NZ 71520 06961


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This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 08:14:39.

End of official listing