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.
Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance debris from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. Often their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots, especially when associated with linear clearance banks. Most examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. The cairnfield 775m NNE of High Lees Farm survives well and is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural practices.
The monument includes the remains of a prehistoric cairnfield, dated to the Bronze Age. The cairnfield occupies a ridge of land with views to both the east and west. It is interpreted as the remains of clearance for prehistoric agriculture and settlement. The cairnfield consists of a generally stone-free area within which are approximately 14 small cairns composed of relatively small stones and ranging between 1.5m and 4m in diameter. Most of the cairns stand to a height of approximately 0.2m to 0.35m. The evidence for stone clearance indicates that the site was used for cultivation during the Bronze Age settlement of Bamford Moor. In addition to the small clearance cairns, one cairn on the extreme east of the cairnfield, and standing slightly apart from the rest of the cairns, is larger, indicating that it may have been used for funerary purposes. The latter cairn overlooks a small stone circle to the north east. Most of the cairns appear to survive undisturbed. The cairnfield also extends beyond the area of protection to the north west where packhorse routes and hollow ways have disturbed the prehistoric remains. All modern fences, gates and walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.
Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. W. - Title: Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of Derbyshire - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 25-7 - Type: DESC TEXT