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Four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise

A Scheduled Monument in Barton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5896 / 54°35'22"N

Longitude: -2.8024 / 2°48'8"W

OS Eastings: 348243.635456

OS Northings: 521894.061857

OS Grid: NY482218

Mapcode National: GBR 8HWC.2J

Mapcode Global: WH81H.XWPY

Entry Name: Four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Last Amended: 16 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007356

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22541

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Barton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Askham with Lowther

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on
Threepow Raise. The funerary cairn situated on the summit of Threepow Raise
includes an oval mound of largely turf-covered stones. This mound measures up
to 0.55m high with maximum dimensions of 7.1m by 6.2m and has kerbing around
the south western edge and the remains of a stone cist slightly east of
centre.
Approximately 55m to the ESE is an oval mound of partly turf-covered stones up
to 0.2m high with maximum dimensions of 4.7m by 4.3m. This cairn has a central
hollow in which remains of a small cist are visible. Approximately 65m SSW of
the summit, on a slight rise between two areas of bog, is a flat-topped oval
mound of largely turf-covered stones up to 0.5m high with maximum dimensions
of 5.3m by 4.7m. Approximately 55m to the south west, on the same slight rise,
is an irregularly-shaped mound of largely turf-covered stones. It measures up
to 0.3m high with maximum dimensions of 12.2m by 4.4m and has upright stones
forming a kerb along its south western edge. The surrounding cairnfield
includes 31 cairns and two stone banks. These cairns can be sub-divided into
four groups; one group of two small cairns up to 0.2m high with maximum
dimensions of 4.2m by 3.8m occupies the same slight rise between two areas of
bog as the two funerary cairns described above. A second group of 19 cairns
generally c.3m in diameter and up to 0.3m high, together with two stone banks,
are scattered around the gently graded slopes of Threepow Raise. A third group
of eight generally smaller cairns are located within a gully east of Elder
Beck; and a fourth group of two small cairns are located west of Elder Beck.
Limited investigation in 1935 of the funerary cairn 55m ESE of the summit of
Threepow Raise and two cairns within the cairnfield, coupled with antiquarian
investigation of the cairn on the summit of Threepow Raise, indicate
that the monument comprises two distinct elements; small clearance cairns
around the lower slopes and a number of funerary cairns on the gently-sloped
summit.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns located in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns began to be constructed from the Neolithic period (from
c.3000BC) although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field
clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the
later Bronze Age (2000-500BC).
The four funerary cairns and surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise survive
well. Limited investigation of some of the funerary cairns has located stone
cists, and further evidence of interments will exist within these and,
possibly, other cairns within the cairnfield. The monument lies within an area
of open fell rich in prehistoric monuments and thus indicates the importance
of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument types to be
found here.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell, (1992), 4-5
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8-12
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8-9
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 9
Other
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Raymond,F., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Cairnfields, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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