Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn, 460m south west of Thompson Ground

A Scheduled Monument in Hawkshead, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3743 / 54°22'27"N

Longitude: -3.0216 / 3°1'17"W

OS Eastings: 333732.741524

OS Northings: 498129.831762

OS Grid: SD337981

Mapcode National: GBR 7KBV.MP

Mapcode Global: WH82K.K9CW

Entry Name: Round cairn, 460m south west of Thompson Ground

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1965

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007237

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 85

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Hawkshead

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Hawkshead St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the earthwork remains of a Bronze Age round cairn situated on a north east facing slope with commanding views to the east. The turf-covered round cairn measures approximately 14m in diameter and 1.2m in height. The round cairn was partially excavated in 1883 and 1887 when the stone cairn was found to cover several patches of ash and charcoal and a square-cut pit. The pit measured 0.84m by 0.53m and contained cremated bone and a fine flint plano-convex knife.

PastScape Monument No:- 39950
NMR:- SD39NW14
Lake District National Park HER:- 2061

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.
Despite partial excavation, the round cairn 460m south west of Thompson Ground survives comparatively well and it is known to contain funerary archaeological remains. The round cairn is a good example with the plano-convex knife being a form of artefact commonly associated with Early Bronze Age cremated burials. The monument provides insight into the character of funerary rituals during the crucial transition between the later Neolithic and the Bronze Age when individual burials associated with grave goods began to appear for the first time.

Source: Historic England

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