Ancient Monuments

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Cairns on Cardunneth Pike

A Scheduled Monument in Cumrew, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.8606 / 54°51'38"N

Longitude: -2.6887 / 2°41'19"W

OS Eastings: 355888.382667

OS Northings: 551970.494626

OS Grid: NY558519

Mapcode National: GBR 9DN7.PD

Mapcode Global: WH80D.N3W4

Entry Name: Cairns on Cardunneth Pike

Scheduled Date: 27 March 1966

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007232

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 70

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Cumrew

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Cumrew St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Round cairns, 772m east of Turnberry 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 a group of round cairns of Bronze Age date, situated in a prominent location at the top of a steep south west facing scarp of Cumrew Fell with extensive views to the south west and overlooked by a ridge from the north east. The group contains at least eight cairns, which vary in diameter from 2.5m to 20m. Two of the cairns are conjoined and at least three of the group have clear evidence of kerb stones with one also having a cist, which indicates them to be burial cairns. The largest cairn in the group, known as Car-dunneth or Cardunnock Pike, measures approximately 20m in diameter and 3.5m in height. The cairn has signs of some disturbance and has been repaired to its current state. It was partially excavated in the 19th century when a number of cremations were found contained within urns.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age. They comprise groups of cairns sited in close proximity to one another and take the form of stone mounds constructed to cover single or multiple burials. Contemporary or later `flat' graves may lie between individual cairns. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time and they can exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form. Occasionally they are associated with earlier long cairns. They may also be associated with clearance cairns - heaps of stones cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for agricultural activities; these were also being constructed during the Bronze Age, although some examples are of later date. It may be impossible without excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round cairn cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Often occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite some modern disturbance the round cairns 772m east of Turnberry House are reasonably well-preserved with partial excavation showing that the cairns will contain archaeological deposits relating to their construction and use. The cairns are located in a prominent location within an upland landscape and are good examples of their class. The monument provides insight into the character of Bronze Age funerary rituals and provides information on landscape use during the period.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 12546

Source: Historic England

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