Scheduled Monument: CAIRNFIELD 390M SOUTH OF SYDA FARM (1019293)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 506
Date assigned Friday, November 24, 2000
Date last amended


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 sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding land surface to improve its use for agriculture and on occasions their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. Occasionally, some of the cairns were used for funerary purposes, although without excavation it is difficult to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3,400 BC), although the majority date from the Bronze Age (2,000-700 BC). Cairnfields can also retain information concerning the development of land use and agricultural practices, as well as the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period. The cairnfield situated 390m south of Syda Farm contains mostly undisturbed examples of clearance cairns and is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural use of this moorland. DETAILS The monument includes a cairnfield comprising at least 17 cairns. The cairnfield occupies an area of north east facing moorland overlooking the Rother valley to the east. The cairns are of varying sizes, ranging from approximately 1.5m to 4m in diameter and occupy relatively well-drained ground close to the top of a ridge. They are distributed in loose clusters around a comparatively stone-free area. Most of the cairns are covered with turf and peat and appear to be undisturbed. The cairnfield is indicative of prehistoric agriculture dating to the Bronze Age. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, JW - Title: The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands) - Date: 1998 - Page References: 148-9 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, JW - Title: The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands) - Date: 1998 - Page References: 148-9

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Notification: Cairnfield 390m south of Syda Farm. List entry no. 1019293. SM Cat. No. 506.



Grid reference Centred SK 3143 6883 (207m by 118m)
Map sheet SK36NW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Oct 16 2013 4:06PM

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