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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 504
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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well. They are found mainly in upland areas of England and sometimes occur in pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns date from the Early or Middle Bronze Age. 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 activities associated with the burial rituals. As a relatively rare class of monument, all positively identified examples 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 were placed within the mound 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 750m north west of Bumper Castle are important as two associated and contemporary monument types surviving in good condition and in close proximity to each other. DETAILS The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn standing in open moorland, together with an adjacent small cairn. The ring cairn comprises a pennanular bank of stones and turf which measures 8m by 9m externally and 6m by 5m internally. The bank stands approximately 0.3m to 0.4m high. The interior of the ring cairn is level and there are no central features visible above ground. Although the ring cairn has been slightly damaged on one side by a disused hollow way, it is otherwise in good condition. The monument stands close to the edge of an escarpment from which there are extensive views across the Derwent valley and towards other prehistoric features on the surrounding hilltops. Approximately 35m north east of the ring cairn stands a low cairn. It measures about 2m in diameter, although more of the structure may lie buried below ground. The cairn is likely to have been constructed for funerary purposes, given its isolated position and its close proximity to the ring cairn. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, JW - Title: The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands) - Date: 1998 - Page References: 181 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, JW - Title: The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands) - Date: 1998 - Page References: 181

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Notification: Ring cairn and cairn 750m north west of Bumper Castle. List entry no. 1019294. SM Cat. No. 504.



Grid reference Centred SK 2775 6590 (69m by 40m)
Map sheet SK26NE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Oct 16 2013 4:30PM

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