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Cairnfield, linear clearance and ring cairn 720m north west of Moor Edge 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, linear clearance and ring cairn 720m north west of Moor Edge Farm

List entry Number: 1019904

Location

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

County: Derbyshire

District: North East Derbyshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Holmesfield

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-May-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: 31290

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 gathered from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. 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.

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, linear clearance and ring cairn 720m north west of Moor Edge Farm, are particularly important as a complex of associated and contemporary monument types surviving in good condition and in close proximity to each other. They provide an insight into Bronze Age land use on these moors.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield together with linear clearance features and a ring cairn providing evidence for Bronze Age settlement and ceremonial activity.

The complex of features occupies the top of Brown Edge, a ridge in open moorland. It comprises a compact cairnfield which includes fragments of linear banks of clearance debris. In addition, there is a small sub-circular ring cairn at the south western edge of the complex. There are approximately 24 to 28 cairns within the protected area, ranging from between 1m to 6.5m in diameter. Some of the cairns are ovoid in plan indicating that they were once part of linear features, such as fences or hedge-lines. In addition to the cairns, there are two fragments of linear banks of turf and stone indicating that at least part of the complex was divided into field plots. The clearance banks were formed by debris from the fields being placed against enclosure hedges or fences. At the south western edge of the complex is a ring cairn comprising a low sub-circular bank of stones and turf. It measures approximately 7.5m by 6m internally with the bank being approximately 3m wide. The remains of a small oval cairn lie at the centre of the ring cairn.

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), 52-3
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 52-3
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 40-1
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 40-1
Radley, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in A Bronze. Age Ring-Work On Totley Moor And (others) In The Pennines, , Vol. 123, (1966), 1-26

National Grid Reference: SK 28901 79059

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 - 1019904 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 12:18:19.

End of official listing