Ancient Monuments

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Cairn and ring mound on Long Moor, west of Gill House Beck

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkby Ireleth, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.2344 / 54°14'4"N

Longitude: -3.1511 / 3°9'3"W

OS Eastings: 325069.209

OS Northings: 482693.735

OS Grid: SD250826

Mapcode National: GBR 6MFG.LT

Mapcode Global: WH71Y.KTQP

Entry Name: Cairn and ring mound on Long Moor, W of Gill House Beck

Scheduled Date: 13 November 1963

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007219

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 91

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Kirkby Ireleth

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Ireleth St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Round Cairn and Ring Cairn, 765m ENE and 963m north east of High Ghyll House.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 February 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of two Bronze Aged cairns sited on a south facing slope overlooking Gill House Beck. One, known as The Kirk is the larger of the two, and is a ring cairn with an external diameter of approximately 25m with an encircling external ditch which can be seen as a slight earthwork on the north western side. The bank forming the ring cairn has a width of approximately 5m to 8m and stands up to 0.4m high. The northern arc of the ring cairn retains visible traces of kerb of stones. According to 19th century sources, the ring bank was originally surmounted by a ring of low standing stones, the sockets of which will be preserved below ground. A possible stone avenue extends from the ring cairn beyond the scheduled area to the north east. The second cairn is sited uphill, just over 310m to the NNE. This cairn is a round cairn which is encircled by a slight external bank and ditch to give a total diameter of just over 18m, the central mound being some 13m in diameter. Partial excavation of the cairn during the 19th century revealed two megaliths, which are now fallen at an angle but originally stood 1m to 1.5m in height, as well as a well-defined 1.5m long cist which was found to contain cremated bone.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. 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. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Cairn and ring mound on Long Moor, W of Gill House Beck are well-preserved examples of rare and highly representative monument types. Partial excavation has revealed the monument to contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use. Both cairns contain unusual structural elements and may contain several phases of construction, which will provide good insight into the character of funerary rituals and upland usage during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 38593 (ring cairn), 38598 (round cairn)

Source: Historic England

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