Scheduled Monument: CAIRN ON BAMFORD MOOR, 500M EAST OF GREAT TOR (1018216)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 172
Date assigned Thursday, February 28, 1963
Date last amended Friday, February 5, 1999


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 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 which were often placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature in 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 prehistoric communities. The cairn 500m east of Great Tor is important because of its structural complexity and the potential for the survival of buried remains. DETAILS The monument includes a prehistoric cairn located on a ridge of land facing northwards. Although the cairn has been disturbed, it displays extensive and complex structural features. It forms one of a small group of dispersed larger cairns on the Bamford moors and is dated to the Bronze Age. The cairn measures 13.5m by 12m and stands approximately 0.6m high. It appears to have been extensively robbed of stone, possibly for wall building. However, even though stone has been removed from the cairn the structure still remains higher than the surrounding landscape, indicating that much undisturbed material is likely to remain, especially below ground. This is likely to include human burial remains and complex architectural features. Still surviving is a carefully arranged kerb of gritstones around the base of the cairn. The structure is large in comparison with other cairns on the surrounding moorlands and this, together with its relatively isolated location, indicates that its function was ceremonial. SELECTED SOURCES Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Barnatt, J W - Title: Peak District Barrow Survey - Date: 1989 - Page References: 28:4 - Description: unpublished survey Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J W - Title: Bronze Age Settlement on the East Moors of Derbyshire - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 26-7 - Type: DESC TEXT

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1963. Scheduling Notification: Cairn on Bamford Moor, 500m east of Great Tor. List entry no. 1018216. SM Cat. No. 172.



Grid reference Centred SK 2122 8492 (18m by 18m)
Map sheet SK28SW

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Record last edited

Oct 1 2013 1:40PM

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