Scheduled Monument record MDR3644 - Area of Cairns, House Platform and Linear Features, Southwest of Harewood Grange Farm, Harewood Moor, Beeley

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Area of cairns, a house platform and linear features, southwest of Harewood Grange Farm, Harewood Moor, Beeley, of presumed Bronze Age date. From the National Heritage List for England: '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 as 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 and, on occasion, their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. 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 (from c.3400 BC), 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. House platforms are one of several known types of settlement site dating from the Neolithic to the Romano-British periods (from c.3000 BC to c.AD 400). Individual house platforms may be dated by excavation or by their association with other monuments of known date. They consist of levelled stances, variously circular, ovoid or sub-rectangular in shape, on which rectangular or circular buildings were constructed. The timber uprights forming the frames of the buildings have not survived, but excavations have revealed their post-holes and associated domestic debris. Where they occur in stony areas, rubble cleared from the platforms may be simply pushed to the edges of each stance or aggregated to form a rough wall. House platforms may occur singly or in groups, and in the open or enclosed by a boulder and rubble wall. The cairnfield, house platform and associated features 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm survive in good condition and will contain undisturbed archaeological remains. They are particularly important in association with each other, forming a complex of contemporary features that provides valuable information on the Bronze Age settlement of this area. Details The monument includes a small cairnfield, house platform and fragments of linear clearance debris providing evidence for prehistoric agriculture and settlement. The complex is situated on fairly level ground approximately 100m south of the stream known as Millstone Sick. The cairnfield comprises five small cairns that are regularly spaced over an area measuring 50m by 30m. The two largest cairns are situated on the northern side of the cairnfield, both measure 4m across and stand 0.3m high. The northernmost of these two cairns has a slight disturbance at its centre, indicating that it has been dug into. Of the smaller cairns, the westernmost measures 3m across and stands 0.2m high, and the easternmost 1.5m across and 0.2m high. The most southerly cairn is less clearly defined, measuring approximately 2m by 3m and standing 0.2m high. In addition to the cairnfield the monument includes a bank of clearance debris located some 40m north east of the centre of the cairnfield. The bank measures 18m in length and 2m across and undulates slightly along its length. A further fragment of clearance debris measuring 4m in length exists within the western extent of the cairnfield. The cairns and clearance banks are believed to have been constructed as part of the process of improving the land surface for agriculture, although such features also frequently prove to be funerary in nature. The presence of linear clearance debris is a strong indicator that the complex was divided into field plots, banks being formed by debris from the fields being placed along enclosure fences or hedges. A level platform measuring 4m by 6m is situated directly to the south of the eastern end of the large rubble bank. The platform is slightly eliptical in shape and is interpreted as the stand for a circular timber house. The cairnfield, clearance debris and house platform are indicative of the settlement, agricultural and ceremonial use of this area during the Bronze Age. MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation. Legacy The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system. Legacy System number: 31305 Legacy System: RSM Sources Books and journals Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 155 Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #41 Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #15.' (1-2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.
  • <2> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2001. Scheduling description: Cairnfield and house platform 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm. SAM 31305. SM Cat. No. 521.



Grid reference Centred SK 3076 6753 (130m by 82m) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Mar 14 2022 2:55PM

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