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Monument record MDR3984 - Barbrook II stone circle, Ramsley Moor, Holmesfield

Type and Period (4)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Characteristic examples of both stone circles and barrows can be identified on an area of Ramsley Moor, including three circles now known as Bar Brook Nos 1, 2 and 3. Number 2, at SK 277758, has a rubble bank 10-12 ft wide with an internal diameter of 44ft. There is a possible entrance on the north-north-east. (1) Excavations were carried out at Barbrook Circle II from 1962 to 1964 by Sheffield City Museum, the Hunter Archaeological Society and the Workers' Educational Association, under the direction of G D Lewis. The site consists of a nearly circular stone and earth bank, retained internally by a drystone wall and standing stones (now mainly fallen) and externally by a simple kerb. The 1962 excavation revealed that the bank was composed of soil with a capping of small stone and confirmed the presence of an entrance on the north-east side. A stone bearing cup-markings on both sides was found just outside the entrance and a few flint flakes in the peat covering the site. Later excavation revealed a kerbed cairn, 8ft in diameter, in the western sector of the circle, covering a pit containing a cremation burial in a collared urn associated with two burnt flint scrapers and a knife. Part of a perforated shale disc was found near the cairn. (2, 3) Scheduled as part of the larger prehistoric landscape on Big Moor and Ramsley Moor. (4) Resurveyed at 1/2500 See G.P's AO/65/212/5, 6 & 7. (5) A radiocarbon date of 3450 +/- 150 BP was obtained from the collared urn recovered from beneath the cairn within the Barbrook II stone circle. This cremation may be considered secondary to the construction of the circle. (7) Three cup marked stones have been found at Barbrook II. One was found near a stone-filled pit under a cairn that obscured the north-east entrance to the circle. The flat base has nine cups surrounding a central one; the curved top has four lines of cups. It is now in Sheffield City Museum store. The second was the capstone of a small disturbed cist and has three cups and a right-angled groove on its upper face. The third was a kerbstone of the small internal cairn and has a single cup on its upper edge. The cairn contained a collared urn, a cremation which has provided a radiocarbon date of 1500+/- 150 bc, two burnt flint scrapers and a flint knife. (8) The circle interior was fully excavated and the bank exposed between 1962 and 1970 by Lewis, but remains unpublished. Illicit excavations took place soon afterwards, when much of the bank fill was removed. This was replaced and both excavations backfilled in 1974. The inner edge of the bank was defined by a drystone wall of two-three courses which had tumbled forwards. This had a diameter of 14.5 x 13.5m, stood 0.4-0.5m high and originally had a ring of orthostats set within recesses. Nine or ten orthostats were identified upon excavation, five of which disappeared when the site was rebuilt in 1974. There was probably a single entrance through the bank to the northeast. Nearby was a cupmarked stone. Three other cupmarked stones were found in the bank. Within the circle, a 2.5m diameter cairn was found to contain a collared urn with a cremation, a scraper and a flint knife. A date of c. 1500 BC was obtained. Part of a shale ring was found under the cairn. The cairn is probably secondary and may post-date the circle by some time. Also within the circle was a pit containing a cremation and another pit containing a collared urn. The interior of the circle had probably been disturbed by Mitchell in 1850. The site was badly damaged in June 1988 and in 1989 when it was 'restored' by persons unknown. The damage was rectified in October 1989 when the site was fully restored after partial re-excavation. All but one of the original ten orthostats were re-identified and re-set. (9) A small ruined cist inside the stone circle was reported in 1982 [see (8) above] as having a capstone slab with three cups and a right-angled groove. Subsequently a decorated piece of stone has been identified which had broken from the capstone. A recent illustration of this shows a further three cupmarks linked by grooves in a chevron-like arrangement. A kerbstone of a small internal cairn had a single cupmark - this stone went missing when the site was vandalised in the late 1980s. A replacement stone with a dubious cupmark was added during restoration in 1989. Further cupmarked stones were identified at this time. These included two small portable gritstones, each with a single cupmark. One came from the previously disturbed fabric of the stone circle bank to the north-west of the entrance, the other lay on the ground surface outside the circle to the north-east. (11)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Article in serial: Riley, D N. 1960. 'Circles and barrows on Ramsley Moor', Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society. Volume 8 (No. 2), pp67-70.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: East Midlands Committee of Field Archaeologists. 1962. East Midlands Archaeological Bulletin, 1962. No. 5. p 3.
  • <3> Article in serial: 1964. East Midland Archaeological Bulletin, No. 7. p 3.
  • <4> Scheduling record: A.M's Eng.Wales, 1965, 33 (M.O.W.).
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: F1 JB 16-NOV-65.
  • <6> Index: NDAT. NDAT 1248. 1248.
  • <7> Article in serial: Lewis, G D. 1966. 'Notes and News. Some radiocarbon dates for the Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 86, pp 115-117.
  • <8> 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. p 39, Fig 4.
  • <9> Monograph: Barnatt, J. 1990. The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District. pp 55-57.
  • <10> Photograph: PPJPB. 1996. Photo:PPJPB:SMR:442.6-11 (B&W)/8002.1-179(Slides). B&W and Slides.
  • <11> 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, p 22.



Grid reference Centred SK 2775 7582 (16m by 15m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3828
  • EDR1152

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Record last edited

Mar 24 2015 10:46AM

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