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Cairnfield, field system and ring cairn 650m east of Moorside Farm

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, field system and ring cairn 650m east of Moorside Farm

List entry Number: 1019509

Location

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

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Baslow and Bubnell

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Jan-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: 31282

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 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 gathered from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it is impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period although the majority of examples date from the 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. They also provide information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) and later. They comprise a discrete block of fields oriented in roughly the same direction with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right-angles to one another. The field boundaries can take various forms and follow straight or sinuous courses. The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought to have been used mainly for crop production and provide important information about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several centuries.

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones. The bank may be kerbed on the inside and sometimes on the outside as well. They are found mainly in upland areas of England and sometimes occur in pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns date from the Early or Middle Bronze Age. 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. As a relatively rare class of monument, all positively-identified examples are considered worthy of protection.

The cairnfield, field system and ring cairn, 650m east of Moorside Farm, are particularly important as a complex of associated and contemporary monument types surviving in good condition and in close proximity to each other.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield together with linear field banks of clearance debris and a small ring cairn.

The complex occupies gently sloping ground close to a west-facing escarpment. It comprises a large cairnfield containing linear banks of clearance debris identifying former field plots. In addition, there is a small sub-circular ring cairn at the western edge of the complex. There are approximately 75 cairns within the area of protection, ranging from between 1m to 6m in diameter. Some of the larger cairns have been disturbed at their centres, although many examples remain intact. The cairns are distributed so as to suggest that they were constructed from the clearance of adjacent field plots. In addition, there are linear banks of turf and stone also defining sub- rectangular plots within the complex, especially at the northern end of the field system. Such were formed by debris from the fields being placed against enclosure hedges or fences. Close to the western edge of the complex, near to the escarpment edge, is a small ring cairn comprising a low sub-circular bank of stones and turf. It measures approximately 10.5m by 8m internally.

The cairnfield, linear field banks and ring cairn are indicative of settlement and ceremonial use of the moorlands during the Bronze Age.

Excluded from the scheduling are underground service pipes and the infilled material above, but the ground beneath is included.

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, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 59-61
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 59-61
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 52-3
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 52-3
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 52-3
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 52-3

National Grid Reference: SK 28210 72459

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 - 1019509 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2017 at 06:02:49.

End of official listing