Pike How prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 320m south west of High Ground


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019554

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Pike How prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 320m south west of High Ground
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland (District Authority)

Parish: Eskdale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SD 16844 97730, SD 17148 97863, SD 17200 97750


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

Reasons for Designation

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post- medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as nationally important.

Despite being crossed by modern roads, Pike How prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 320m south west of High Ground survives reasonably well and forms part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. In conjunction with a wide range of other prehistoric remains in the vicinity the monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times.


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


The monument includes Pike How prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 320m south west of High Ground. It is located along the southern slopes of Pike How and extends both east and west of the Ulpha-Eskdale minor road, and north and south of the access road to High Ground and Birkerthwaite. The monument represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape and is sub-divided into three separate areas of protection. The prehistoric cairnfield is centered at approximately SD16959775 and consists of over 160 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns measuring up to 0.8m high. The circular cairns measure between 1.9m to 6.75m in diameter while the oval-shaped cairns measure between 3.2m to 10.1m long by 1.8m to 7.9m wide. A field system associated with the cairnfield consists of a curvilinear enclosure sub-divided by traces of a central stone bank situated to the west of the Ulpha-Eskdale road at approximately SD17019775. The walls of the enclosure are discontinuous and it may have been damaged by construction of the road. On the east side of the Ulpha-Eskdale road a 70m length of stone bank or wall may originally have formed part of this enclosure. However, a broad cairn-free area immediately south of this wall suggests it originally functioned as a field boundary. Two other short lengths of stone wall are located towards the north west and north east sides of the cairnfield. Elsewhere within the cairnfield a number of other cairn-free areas may indicate the site of former fields.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 32881

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 60-73
Leech, R, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Settlement And Groups Of Small Cairns On Birkby And Birker Fells, , Vol. LXXXIII, (1983), 15-23

End of official listing