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.
Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising upright or recumbent stones. Burial cairns may be found close to and on occasion within the circle. These monuments are found throughout England although they are concentrated in western areas with particular clusters in upland regions. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2,400-1,000 BC). We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied internment of the dead. Of the 250 or so examples identified in England, over 100 of these are small stone circles of between seven and 16 upright stones. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The stone circle 340m south of Leam Hall Farm is well-preserved and is likely to retain much information regarding prehistoric ritual activity. It is one of a group of embanked stone circles found in the Peak District.
The monument includes a small prehistoric stone circle set within an earthen bank located on gently shelving land at the eastern edge of Eyam Moor. The circle stands close to contemporary cairnfields and related monuments. The monument consists of a small stone circle of four surviving stones set in the inner edge of a sub-circular bank which measures 8m by 7.5m internally. The embankment varies from 2m to 2.5m wide and its external measurements are 13m by 12.5m. The surviving stones of the circle range from 0.15m to 0.3m above ground. Its arrangement indicates that there may have been originally nine stones if all were equally spaced. There is a feature to the NNW of the bank which may have been an original entrance to the monument. This type of monument is known as an embanked stone circle. Within the circle of stones stands a small cairn of approximately 4.5m in diameter which has a central depression, suggesting that it has been partially excavated at an unknown date. A spread of rubble to its north is most likely upcast from this disturbance. The monument is interpreted as a Bronze Age stone circle of which a few survive in the local region. The central cairn was most likely funerary in purpose, forming part of a complex ceremonial monument.
Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, John - Title: The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District - Date: 1990 - Page References: 73-4 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1