Ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 825m west of Pearson's Fold, north of Cawfell Beck


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020339

Date first listed: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 825m west of Pearson's Fold, north of Cawfell Beck
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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: Ennerdale and Kinniside

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 10430 09634


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.

Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. 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 exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation. The ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 200m north of Cawfell Beck survives well and forms part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric settlements, cairnfields and field systems which extend over Town Bank and Stockdale Moor. Together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times. The cairn will contribute greatly to any further study of prehistoric settlement patterns within the Lake District.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn located 200m north of Cawfell Beck on Stockdale Moor, an expansive area of undulating unenclosed moorland between the River Bleng and Worm Gill. It includes a sub-circular bank of predominantly turf-covered stones measuring 12.4m by 11.4m externally and up to 0.5m high which encloses a flat interior approximately 6.5m in diameter. The ring cairn is one of many prehistoric monuments on Stockdale Moor which are considered from comparisons with dated examples elsewhere to be dated approximately to the second millenium BC.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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: 27828

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9

End of official listing