Cairnfield 390m south of Syda Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019293

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield 390m south of Syda Farm
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: North East Derbyshire (District Authority)

Parish: Holymoorside and Walton

National Grid Reference: SK 31449 68812

Summary

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 sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding land surface to improve its use for agriculture and on occasions their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. Occasionally, some of the cairns were used for funerary purposes, although without excavation it is difficult to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3,400 BC), although the majority date from the Bronze Age (2,000-700 BC). Cairnfields can also retain information concerning the development of land use and agricultural practices, as well as the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period. The cairnfield situated 390m south of Syda Farm contains mostly undisturbed examples of clearance cairns and is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural use of this moorland.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a cairnfield comprising at least 17 cairns. The cairnfield occupies an area of north east facing moorland overlooking the Rother valley to the east. The cairns are of varying sizes, ranging from approximately 1.5m to 4m in diameter and occupy relatively well-drained ground close to the top of a ridge. They are distributed in loose clusters around a comparatively stone-free area. Most of the cairns are covered with turf and peat and appear to be undisturbed. The cairnfield is indicative of prehistoric agriculture dating to the Bronze Age.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 31271

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 148-9
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 148-9

End of official listing