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Monument record MDR3636 - Park Gate embanked stone circle, Beeley Warren, Beeley

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

At SK 2803 6852 is a stone circle, forty-five feet in diameter with eleven standing stones and a slight disc. There is a disturbed cairn at the centre and east of centre. It was surveyed in 1961, the plan being in the possession of J P Heathcote of Holymoorside. (1) The circle of nine standing stones, the highest 1.1m, was located at SK 28056850. Several small stones complete the perimeter and an inner, but off-centre, circle is almost certainly a cairn-rim. Surveyed at 1/2,500. (2) The most prominent monument on Brampton East Moor is the Park Gate Stone Circle which occupies a small grassy flat on a promontory which lies in front of the main block of moorland and overlooks the Derwent Valley. From here the 'Nine Ladies' area is quite clearly visible. The recently robbed Park Gate Circle is 45 ft across overall with eleven stocky uprights standing on the inner edge of a 6ft wide rubble bank which stands 1-2 ft high. There are several stones which may be vestiges of an outer ring of approximately 70 ft diameter. The central mound, formerly a 'cone of stone', has been disturbed and is spread over the central flat. Even so, the dished appearance of the central area is still apparent. A slight mound adjoining the east side of the high bank may be debris from the central disturbance. There is no obvious original entrance. (3) The tallest stone of the Park Gate stone circle has two hollows which, in view of the context, could perhaps be cupmarks. However, Millstone Grit frequently has small hollows which are formed naturally and which can easily be confused with cupmarks; it is often not possible to distinguish between the two alternative interpretations. (5) At the northern edge of the Beeley Warren South cairnfield is an embanked stone circle. It has a ring of from ten to fourteen orthostats, 11.5 m in diameter; the four smallest stones might be alternatively interpreted as a ruined kerb. The largest upright stands to the south and may be cupmarked. The stones appear to be crudely graded in height, with the largest to the south and smallest to the north. To the east the bank is overlain by a cairn, 2.5m x 3m in diameter. In the centre is a second ruined cairn, 5m in diameter, which was badly disturbed earlier this century. Five stones remain of a kerb of inwardly sloping slabs. (6) Park Gate embanked stone circle is situated at the northern edge of a cairnfield and field system. The site has a ring of ten to fourteen orthostats placed in a 12.5 x 12m ring at the inner edge of the bank. Four of these stones are low and may be remnants of a vertically-set retaining kerb rather than true orthostats. This is particularly true with the one or two fallen slabs to the south, which lie between, and are almost contiguous with, taller orthostats. The taller stones are between 0.45m and 1m high, with the exception of one lying due south. This pillar-like stone leans inwards but originally would have been about 1.15m high and it has a probable cupmark on one side. Originally, if the orthostats were equally spaced there would have been twenty in the ring. The bank is between 1.5m and 2.5m wide and in parts is poorly defined. To the north-east, the inner edge has several slabs which appear to be vestiges of a low drystone wall behind one of the orthostats, while to the south are what could be vertically-set kerbstones (as noted above). The internal edge of the bank has collapsed in several places suggesting the kerb was once relatively high. The outer edge has a diameter of 15.5m and has no visible traces of a kerb. Abutting the outer edge of the bank to the east is a low 2.5 x 3m diameter cairn which appears to overlay the bank. West of the site are two outlying vertically-set slabs which have been suggested to be vestiges of an outer ring but are more likely to be fortuitously placed stones. The central area has a badly ruined cairn which was described in 1907 as a 'cone of stones in a complete form', indicating that its disturbance took place after this date. (7) The stone circle lies within a scheduled area which includes a prehistoric field system with associated cairnfield, the whole representing a well-preserved example of a Bronze Age settlement complex. The circle itself is typical of earlier Bronze Age ceremonial monuments in the Peak District, although it is likely that the cairns were later additions. (8) It was noted previously that a tall stone had a possible cupmark. On re-inspection, this deep irregular hollow on the side of the stone is not a cupmark but a bullet scar, presumably created during the 1939-45 war when this moorland was used for military training. (9) Site monitoring has been carried out. See form for details. (10)

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Whitehead, A. Corr 6" (A Whitehead, undtd.).
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 14-JUN-66.
  • <3> Article in serial: Radley, J. 1966. 'A Bronze Age ringwork on Totley Moor and other Bronze Age ringworks in the Pennines', Archaeological Journal. Volume 123, pp 1-26. p 16.
  • <4> Index: NDAT. 0312. 0312.
  • <5> Article in serial: Barnatt, J (University of Sheffield) & Reeder, P. 1982. 'Prehistoric rock art in the Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 102, pp 33-44. p44.
  • <6> Article in serial: Barnatt, J. 1986. 'Bronze Age remains on the East Moors of the Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 106, pp 18-100. p 59.
  • <7> Monograph: Barnatt, J. 1990. The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District. pp 64-66, Site 27, Fig. 35.
  • <8> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1999. Scheduling Notification. 31242. Cat. No.: 449.
  • <9> Article in serial: Barnatt, J & Robinson, F. 2003. 'Prehistoric rock-art at Ashover School and further new discoveries ...', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 123, pp 1-28. p 20.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Bell, S (PDNPA). 2010. Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form: Field System and Stone Circle on Rabbit Warren, 1150m South East of Park Farm.



Grid reference Centred SK 2804 6851 (14m by 13m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3248
  • EDR1085

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Record last edited

Sep 1 2016 10:18AM

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