Cairnfield and house platform 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020305

Date first listed: 10-Oct-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield and house platform 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Beeley

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 30788 67529

Summary

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 (from c.3400 BC), 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.

House platforms are one of several known types of settlement site dating from the Neolithic to the Romano-British periods (from c.3000 BC to c.AD 400). Individual house platforms may be dated by excavation or by their association with other monuments of known date. They consist of levelled stances, variously circular, ovoid or sub-rectangular in shape, on which rectangular or circular buildings were constructed. The timber uprights forming the frames of the buildings have not survived, but excavations have revealed their post-holes and associated domestic debris. Where they occur in stony areas, rubble cleared from the platforms may be simply pushed to the edges of each stance or aggregated to form a rough wall. House platforms may occur singly or in groups, and in the open or enclosed by a boulder and rubble wall.

The cairnfield, house platform and associated features 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm survive in good condition and will contain undisturbed archaeological remains. They are particularly important in association with each other, forming a complex of contemporary features that provides valuable information on the Bronze Age settlement of this area.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a small cairnfield, house platform and fragments of linear clearance debris providing evidence for prehistoric agriculture and settlement.

The complex is situated on fairly level ground approximately 100m south of the stream known as Millstone Sick. The cairnfield comprises five small cairns that are regularly spaced over an area measuring 50m by 30m. The two largest cairns are situated on the northern side of the cairnfield, both measure 4m across and stand 0.3m high. The northernmost of these two cairns has a slight disturbance at its centre, indicating that it has been dug into. Of the smaller cairns, the westernmost measures 3m across and stands 0.2m high, and the easternmost 1.5m across and 0.2m high. The most southerly cairn is less clearly defined, measuring approximately 2m by 3m and standing 0.2m high. In addition to the cairnfield the monument includes a bank of clearance debris located some 40m north east of the centre of the cairnfield. The bank measures 18m in length and 2m across and undulates slightly along its length. A further fragment of clearance debris measuring 4m in length exists within the western extent of the cairnfield. The cairns and clearance banks are believed to have been constructed as part of the process of improving the land surface for agriculture, although such features also frequently prove to be funerary in nature. The presence of linear clearance debris is a strong indicator that the complex was divided into field plots, banks being formed by debris from the fields being placed along enclosure fences or hedges. A level platform measuring 4m by 6m is situated directly to the south of the eastern end of the large rubble bank. The platform is slightly eliptical in shape and is interpreted as the stand for a circular timber house.

The cairnfield, clearance debris and house platform are indicative of the settlement, agricultural and ceremonial use of this area during the 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 31305

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 155
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #41
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #15

End of official listing