Scheduled Monument: RING CAIRN AND CAIRN ON RAMSLEY MOOR, 850M NORTH EAST OF RAMSLEY LODGE (1017115)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 454
Date assigned Friday, October 29, 1999
Date last amended

Description

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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas and sometimes occur in pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries and are monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting associated with the burial ritual. As a relatively rare class of monument, exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of protection. 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. These burials may be placed in stone-lined compartments called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. 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 ring cairn and cairn on Ramsley Moor, 850m north east of Ramsley Lodge, survive well and will retain significant information on their original date and function. They will thereby contribute to our understanding of prehistoric activity on the moorlands. DETAILS The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn standing on a small ridge of moorland together with a small cairn to its north. Both structures are interpreted as evidence for ceremonial activity during the Bronze Age. The ring cairn stands in a slightly elevated position on a small ridge of moorland in an area otherwise prone to seasonal waterlogging. It measures approximately 23.5m by 21.5m in diameter externally and comprises a bank of stone and turf with a level interior. The bank stands approximately 0.5m-0.6m high and is up to 3.5m wide, leaving an internal diameter of approximately 19m by 16m. There is an entranceway on its south western edge which may be original and the western side of the monument appears to stand on an artificial revetment created to provide a level site. To the north of the ring cairn stands a small cairn of about 3m in diameter. It appears to be connected to the ring cairn via a slight embankment. The cairn has been disturbed on its eastern side. Although apparently isolated, there are extensive Bronze Age settlement remains to the south west and east. The monument itself stands in a prominent position on the ridge and forms a ritual element of this prehistoric landscape. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, John - Title: The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District - Date: 1990 - Page References: 59-60 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, John - Title: The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District - Date: 1990 - Page References: 59-60 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1 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: 48-9 - Type: DESC TEXT 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: 48-9 - Type: PLAN: SKETCH

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1999. Scheduling Notification: Ring cairn and cairn on Ramsley Moor, 850m north east of Ramsley Lodge. List entry no. 1017115. SM Cat. No. 454.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SK 2895 7563 (40m by 76m)
Map sheet SK27NE
Civil Parish HOLMESFIELD, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Oct 16 2013 2:48PM

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