REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
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 may be 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 provide 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.
This particular cairn has been partially excavated revealing firm evidence of Bronze Age use. Although this activity has disturbed the centre of the monument, making the original height of the cairn difficult to assess, its perimeter is undisturbed and retains significant intact archaeological remains. Also of importance is the cairn's association with a relict Bronze Age field system.
Curbar Edge is situated in the eastern gritstone moorlands of the Peak District, in an area commonly known as the East Moors. The monument is prominently located on the very edge of the cliff face overlooking the Derwent Valley to the west. It includes a sub-circular gritstone cairn, measuring 18.5m x 15m, retained by a kerb of gritstone boulders and constructed round a natural outcrop to increase its height and bulk. This was discovered when a partial excavation of the monument was carried out in 1913 by the then owner of the site, the Duke of Rutland, and his gamekeeper, E Peat. The excavation also revealed a possible gritstone cist containing the remains of a cremation associated with fragments of a pottery food vessel, a broken bronze knife and a flint scraper. These remains, together with the close proximity of the cairn to an extensive prehistoric field system, date the cairn to the Bronze Age.
Other Reference - Title: Correspondence (Antiquities) SA/116 from E.H. Peat 1/8/1965 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: In Sheffield City Museum
Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989) - Date: 1989
Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Barnatt, J W - Title: Peak District Barrow Survey - Date: 1989 - Description: unpublished survey