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 850m north west of Crow Chin is particularly important because of its structural complexity, being highly unusual in the national and local context. As a near-complete example, its potential for the survival of buried remains, including human funerary evidence, is high.
The monument includes a prehistoric cairn, dated to the Bronze Age and located on a ridge on a gentle slope facing to the north east. Although slightly disturbed at its centre, the cairn displays complex and unusual structural features and is likely to contain intact buried remains. It stands isolated from other cairns and prehistoric features on Bamford Moor, suggesting that it was a focal structure of some importance. The cairn measures 8m by 6m and stands approximately 0.9m high. It has a depression at its centre which may have resulted from an undocumented, but minor, excavation. However, most of the cairn remains undisturbed, indicating that material is likely to remain intact, including human burial remains. The cairn is highly unusual for the Peak District in that it contains a ring of five orthostats (upright boulders), standing to a maximum height of about 0.7m, forming a spaced kerb at its perimeter. The orthostats are probably complete as they are equally spaced. Similar structures are recorded in Cumbria and elsewhere, although this form of construction is rare.
Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Barnatt, J W - Title: Peak District Barrow Survey - Date: 1989 - Page References: 29:2 - Description: unpublished survey