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Scheduled Monument: PLATFORM CAIRN SOUTH OF HILL RAKE (1011208)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 51
Date assigned Tuesday, October 4, 1932
Date last amended Thursday, January 13, 1994


REASON FOR DESIGNATION Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some examples have other features, including peripheral banks and internal mounds constructed on the platform. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the platform, bank or mound, or all three. Platform cairns occur as isolated monuments, in small groups or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter instances they are normally found alongside cairns of other types. Although no precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are under 250 known examples of this class of monument nationally. As a rare monument type, exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The platform cairn south of Hill Rake lies outside the main area of distribution and has been shown to contain substantial evidence of a variety of prehistoric burial practices. Although partial excavation has cut a trench across the centre of the barrow, and a Home Guard trench has disturbed it on its south side, it still retains significant areas of undisturbed archaeological remains. It is, in addition, an unusual form of barrow for the Peak District. DETAILS The monument is a form of platform cairn comprising a roughly circular flat-topped mound with a diameter of c.18m. It is c.0.75m high and has a hilltop location overlooking Bradwell Dale in the north-eastern shelves of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. Partial excavations of the mound were carried out by Bagshawe between 1866 and 1868 and by Harris in 1924. During World War II a home guard trench was dug around the southern rim. Bagshawe found the remains of several burials including a crouched inhumation in a rectangular cist or grave, a crouched inhumation in an oval cist accompanied by a pottery food vessel, a crouched inhumation in a ruined cist set high in the mound, and a decayed inhumation in an oval cist accompanied by a barbed flint arrowhead. Two pavements were uncovered, one beneath an extended inhumation and the other beneath a crouched inhumation. The crouched skeleton of a child was found accompanied by a pottery beaker and a piece of bronze while, near the surface of the mound, were the disturbed remains of four other inhumations. Part of a shale bracelet and a flint scraper were also recovered in addition to a bone pin and spatula. The remains indicate that the monument had an extended period of use throughout the Beaker and Early Bronze Age periods. Roughly 50m south-west of the platform cairn is a smaller mound with a diameter of 9m by 7m and a height of c.0.5m. This may be a satellite barrow associated with the larger cairn. However, an oval scoop taken out of its west side suggests it may alternatively be a small limekiln, possibly associated with Hill Rake since quicklime was sometimes used in blasting as a cheap substitute for gunpowder. Because of its uncertain classification, the feature has not been included in the scheduling. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Bagshawe, B. - Title: Manuscript in the Sheffield City Museum and City Library - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey - Date: 1989 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Site 3;2 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey - Date: 1989 - Type: PLAN: MEASURED - Description: Site 3;2 Book Reference - Author: Clarke, D.L. - Title: The Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland - Date: 1970 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: No. 118, 119 Book Reference - Author: Marsden B - Title: The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire (1977) - Date: 1977 - Page References: 55-7 - Type: DESC TEXT

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1932. Scheduling Notification: Platform Cairn south of Hill Rake. List entry no. 1011208. SM Cat. No. 51.



Grid reference Centred SK 1731 8032 (30m by 32m)
Map sheet SK18SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Aug 30 2013 12:57PM

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