Ancient Monuments

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Ring cairn on Knipescar Common

A Scheduled Monument in Bampton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5668 / 54°34'0"N

Longitude: -2.7302 / 2°43'48"W

OS Eastings: 352881.594207

OS Northings: 519303.59637

OS Grid: NY528193

Mapcode National: GBR 9HCM.QQ

Mapcode Global: WH81R.1G5X

Entry Name: Ring cairn on Knipescar Common

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1965

Last Amended: 19 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007407

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22510

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Bampton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Bampton St Patrick

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument is a ring cairn located on a limestone shelf on Knipescar Common.
It includes a ring bank of limestone boulders and rubble up to 2.5m wide and
0.9m high that encloses an oval internal area measuring c.15m by 11m. There is
a limestone block at the centre of the ring cairn and other blocks are
scattered in the south-west and north-west quadrants.
A wooden post that held an information board is excluded from the scheduling
although, the ground beneath it is included.

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

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter 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 are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They 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.

The ring cairn on Knipescar Common survives well. It is unexcavated and will
retain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the enclosure bank and
interior.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Waterhouse, J, The Stones Circles of Cumbria, (1986), 154
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Ring Cairns, (1989)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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