Scheduled Monument: CAIRNFIELD, FIELD SYSTEM AND RING CAIRN 1300M NNW OF NEWBRIDGE FARM (1019971)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 497
Date assigned Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Date last amended

Description

REASON 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 gathered from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it is impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period although the majority of examples date from the 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. They also provide information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period. Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) and later. They comprise a discrete block of fields oriented in roughly the same direction with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right-angles to one another. The field boundaries can take various forms and follow straight or sinuous courses. The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought to have been used mainly for crop production and provide important information about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several centuries. 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. The cairnfield, field system and ring cairn, 1300m NNW of Newbridge Farm, are particularly important as a complex of associated and contemporary monument types surviving in good condition and in close proximity to each other. DETAILS The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield together with linear field banks of clearance debris and a small ring cairn. The complex occupies gently sloping ground in open moorland. It comprises a compact cairnfield with linear banks of clearance debris identifying former field plots. In addition, there is a small sub-circular ring cairn at the southern edge of the complex. There are approximately 15 to 20 cairns within the protected area, ranging from between 1.5m to 7m in diameter and most of the examples remain intact. In addition to the cairns, there are two coaxial linear banks of turf and stone indicating that at least part of the complex was divided into field plots. The clearance banks were formed by debris from the fields being placed against enclosure hedges or fences. At the southern edge of the complex is a small ring cairn comprising a low sub-circular bank of stones and turf. It measures approximately 17.5m by 15.5m internally with the width of the bank being 2.5m. A small cairn of about 2m by 3.5m stands on the north eastern edge of the ring cairn. The cairnfield, linear field banks and ring cairn are indicative of settlement and ceremonial use of the moorlands during the Bronze Age. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: RCHME - Title: The House Within - Date: 1994 - Type: Book Reference - Author: RCHME - Title: The House Within - Date: 1994 - Type: Book Reference - Author: RCHME - Title: The House Within - Date: 1994 - Type: Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, John - Title: The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District - Date: 1990 - Page References: 59-61 - 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: 49-51 - 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: 49-51 - Type: PLAN: MEASURED 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: 49-51 - Type: PLAN: SKETCH Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. W. - Title: Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 49-51 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. W. - Title: Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 49-51 - Type: PLAN: MEASURED Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. W. - Title: Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 49-51 - Type: PLAN: SKETCH

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2001. Scheduling Notification: Cairnfield, field system and ring cairn 1300m NNW of Newbridge Farm. List entry no. 1019971. SM Cat. No. 497.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SK 2847 7346 (242m by 191m)
Map sheet SK27SE
Civil Parish BASLOW AND BUBNELL, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Oct 21 2013 10:33AM

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