Ancient Monuments

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Askham Fell stone alignment

A Scheduled Monument in Askham, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5928 / 54°35'34"N

Longitude: -2.7873 / 2°47'14"W

OS Eastings: 349224.344859

OS Northings: 522242.79476

OS Grid: NY492222

Mapcode National: GBR 8HZB.CD

Mapcode Global: WH81J.4TZG

Entry Name: Askham Fell stone alignment

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007376

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22526

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Askham

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Askham with Lowther

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a stone alignment on Askham Fell situated on a line between
White Raise round cairn and Askham Fell ring cairn. It is divided into two
separate areas by a natural sink hole. The easterly part includes two
virtually parallel alignments of irregularly spaced stones 6m-9m apart,
orientated approximately north west - south east, and running for a length of
70m. There are fifteen stones in the northern line and seven stones in the
southern line. Some of the stones remain upright while others appear to have
fallen. The maximum height of the stones is 0.3m. At the south east end there
is a slight bank up to 0.1m high and 1m wide that continues the southernmost
alignment of the stones for a further 8m. The western part of the monument
continues approximately on the same alignment as the northern line of stones
for a further 44m and includes seven irregularly spaced stones up to 0.45m

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

Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line
or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They
are often sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns
and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore
considered to have had an important ceremonial function. Traditionally they
are regarded as being of Bronze Age date although there is a lack of precise
dating evidence. Circumstantial evidence - for example, the fact that most
appear on moorland which shows little sign of widespread colonisation until
the Late Neolithic, and the fact that some are slighted by Middle-Late Bronze
Age structures - suggests that all or most were constructed during the first
half of the second millenium BC. As such they provide rare evidence of
ceremonial and ritual practices during this period. Due to their rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all examples of stone alignments that are not
extensively damaged will be considered nationally important.
Askham Fell stone alignment survives reasonably well and is a rare example of
this class of monument in Cumbria. It lies within an area of open fell rich in
prehistoric monuments, and is situated upon an alignment of funerary monuments
stretching for over 1.5km along the natural communication route over a col
between Lowther and Ullswater valleys. It thus indicates the importance of
this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument types to be found
here. The monument will contribute to the study of the ceremonial function and
date of stone alignments and other spatially associated monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 21-2
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 23-4
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Stone Alignments, (1988)
SMR No. 2946, Cumbria SMR, Moor Divock, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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