Round cairn 200m west of Margery Hill triangulation pillar


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn 200m west of Margery Hill triangulation pillar
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Oct-2019 at 09:25:05.


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

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 18730 95624

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 cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials were placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The round cairn 200m west of Margery Hill triangulation pillar survives in excellent condition and is characteristic in form and location of its monument type. The monument is very rare in being unexcavated, the majority of barrows in the region having been subject to excavation by antiquarian collectors during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The monument will retain substantial information about its construction and date and will contain undisturbed funerary remains. The blanket peat within which the cairn is situated may aid the preservation of organic artefacts and will also provide important environmental evidence from its period of construction.


The monument includes a round cairn situated in open moorland close to the upper scarp of Wilfrey Edge and Howden Edge.

The monument comprises a large gritstone cairn enclosed within a kerb of orthostatic (or edge-set) stones. The elevated location of the cairn provides extensive views to the west, overlooking Little Cranberry Clough and Bull Clough, both being minor tributaries of the Upper Derwent Valley. Precise dimensions cannot be given for the cairn due to a thick layer of peat that overlies the monument. However, the overlying peat does form a low mound (measuring approximately 48m by 50m) and the entirety of the cairn and kerb is believed to be contained within this mound. Small areas of the cairn and kerb eroded out of the peat during 1989 and in subsequent years a survey and small scale excavation were undertaken to examine these areas. During 1994 a barbed and tanged arrowhead was recovered from the area of peat erosion. There are no indications of other disturbance to the monument, the peat having preserved the cairn from natural and human erosion and the attentions of antiquarian excavators.

The location and physical characteristics of the monument are typical of a funerary monument of early Bronze Age date. The monument is indicative of the settlment and ceremonial use of the surrounding area during the Bronze Age.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bevan, WJ, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey 1994-1997, (1998), 175
Reeves, P, Batchelor, D, An Evaluation Of a Cairn at Margery Hill (Peak National Park), (1994), 1-10
Reeves, P, Batchelor, D, An Evaluation Of a Cairn at Margery Hill (Peak National Park), (1994), 1-10
Reeves, P, Batchelor, D, An Evaluation Of a Cairn at Margery Hill (Peak National Park), (1994)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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