Ring cairn on Goldsborough, Cotherstone Moor, 840m south of Pitcher House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019155

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn on Goldsborough, Cotherstone Moor, 840m south of Pitcher House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Cotherstone

National Grid Reference: NY 95480 17690


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

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn 840m south of Pitcher House survives well and it is one several prehistoric features in the Goldsborough area. It will therefore contribute to the study of the prehistory of the area.


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


The monument includes a ring cairn on Goldsborough, Cotherstone Moor. The ring cairn consists of a subcircular bank 11m in diameter, up to 0.3m high and typically 2m wide. The bank is composed of earth and stone, is grass covered, and is terraced into a natural bank to the west.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 31792

Legacy System: RSM


Ring cairn, Laurie, T, Ring cairn on Goldsborough Cotherstone Moor, (1998)

End of official listing