Cairn cemetery on Gibbet Moor, 1100m south west of Stonelow Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019906

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Cairn cemetery on Gibbet Moor, 1100m south west of Stonelow Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Baslow and Bubnell

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 28436 70646


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.

Round cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise groups of cairns in close proximity to each other and take the form of stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries. They may be associated with Bronze Age clearance cairns - heaps of stones cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for agriculture. It may be impossible without excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round cairn cemeteries are found throughout most of upland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities.

The remains of the cairn cemetery on Gibbet Moor, 1100m south west of Stonelow Farm, survive well and provide an important insight into Bronze Age ceremonial practices on the East Moors of the Peak District.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Bronze Age cairn cemetery standing in open moorland.

The cemetery comprises two relatively large cairns together with at least six smaller cairns and similar features. The two large cairns measure 10m by 8.5m and 8.5m by 7.5m in diameter respectively. Both stand approximately 0.4m high. These two cairns have been disturbed, especially at their centres, although much of the original structure of the monuments appears to remain intact. To the south and south east of the two cairns stand at least six smaller ones. These are visible as three rings of stones and three or more small cairns. The rings of stones are arranged as carefully-placed kerbs around earthen interiors with no appreciable height to them. In addition to these are at least three small and low cairns ranging from 2m to 5.5m in diameter. The cairns and associated features are located on an exposed knoll of moorland, overlooking the north and west. They are set apart from extensive and contemporary settlement remains on the same moorlands to the west and south west and, as such, are interpreted as a dedicated cemetery complex dating to the Late Neolithic or earlier 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.


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

Legacy System number: 31293

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 72-3
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989), 29.23-4
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989), 29.23-4
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 72-3

End of official listing