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Cairnfield on Beeley Moor, east of Hell Bank Plantation

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: Cairnfield on Beeley Moor, east of Hell Bank Plantation

List entry Number: 1019483

Location

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

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Beeley

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Mar-2001

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: 31280

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 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 as 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 on Beeley Moor, east of Hell Bank Plantation, contains complete examples of small cairns. As such, they are important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural and ceremonial use of this moorland.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a small prehistoric cairnfield comprising at least six cairns.

The cairnfield occupies an area of moorland on a ridge beneath a west-facing escarpment. It comprises a compact group of cairns ranging from between approximately 1.5m to 2.5m in diameter. They are arranged as two clusters of at least three cairns each amid stone-cleared ground. The cairns are complete examples and more features will survive below ground under an accumulation of peat and turf. The cairns may be the result of agricultural clearance from the surrounding area to provide better farmland. Their relatively uniform size and form indicates that, if agricultural in origin, they may be the result of a single episode of land utilisation. The cairnfield may, however, be funerary in function forming a discrete cairn cemetery.

The cairnfield is indicative of prehistoric settlement dating to the Bronze Age. Further settlement evidence also survives on the same area of moorland to the north west and to the south.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 135
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 135

National Grid Reference: SK 29150 68060

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 - 1019483 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 09:35:08.

End of official listing