The monument includes an extensive complex of prehistoric settlement and ceremonial remains in an area of open moorland. Features include cairnfields, linear clearance banks, single barrows and multiple barrow cemeteries, a stone circle and a stone setting. Several probable building platforms have also been identified. This is one of the most extensive Bronze Age settlement complexes in the Peak District.
The settlement and ceremonial remains occupy open moorland, most of which slopes gently to the north. To the east, west and south are further prehistoric features which are thought to be associated with the main area of settlement but are separated from it by boggy or stony ground. Most of these are the subject of separate schedulings.
Within the complex are at least 250 cairns. These form several large cairnfields, but there are also some isolated single cairns and some small cairn groups. The cairns are of various sizes, typically between 2m and 4m in diameter, although there are many larger and smaller examples.
Associated with several of the cairnfields are stretches of linear clearance in some cases forming field enclosures, especially in the northern part of the complex. Such field banks were created from debris being thrown or placed alongside hedges or fences and indicate that the area was subject to arable cultivation. Some cairns are elongated, indicating that they also were constructed at the side of field boundaries.
Within the cairnfields some of the larger cairns do not appear to be associated with land clearance but are interpreted as funerary monuments. These are often found in stony areas and stand on bluffs that overlook the settlement complex. it is also possible that many of the other cairns contain human remains because excavation elsewhere has shown that clearance cairns were sometimes used for funerary purposes.
At the southern end of the complex stands a small embanked stone circle. it measures approximately 13m by 10m surrounded by an earthen embankment about 1.5m at its highest point. Twelve or more standing stones are now fallen or leaning with a maximum height of about 0.7m. In the south side of the circle is a narrow entrance revetted in stone. In the central part of the complex stands another stone setting of unusual character. It appears to be a diminutive version of a 'four-poster' stone circle with three standing stones, forming three corners of a square: the fourth is now missing. Each side of the square is approximately 2m and the setting is oriented NNE-SSW. All of the standing stones are about 0.65m high.
Within the complex stand several small areas interpreted as the sites of prehistoric habitations. Most take the form of circular depressions or platforms, some now defined by arcs of rubble. Excavation elsewhere has shown that Bronze Age houses were usually timber built and it is likely that considerable information in the form of constructional post holes and domestic artefacts lie buried at these locations.
The dispersed nature of house sites indicate that these represent a series of small family farms distributed across the landscape. There appear to be several different forms of field layout within the area of protection which may be chronological indicators or, alternatively, may show different forms of contemporary land exploitation in response to the topography. At the northern end, field plots are small and irregular with many clearance cairns, often placed at field edges or centrally, rather than as a random spread. Further south there are indications of co-axial field layouts with larger plots. At the southern end of the complex are more dense concentrations of random cairns with small cleared areas. These may indicate a relatively short lived exploitation of the landscape in this area.
Within the complex of prehistoric features are several more recent remains relating to military training during World War II. These now comprise a series of hollows, mounds and platforms with one arrangement indicating a military command post.
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SK 28039 70634 (point)
BASLOW AND BUBNELL, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Sep 1 2016 10:21AM
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