Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn on Harland Edge

A Scheduled Monument in Beeley, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2151 / 53°12'54"N

Longitude: -1.5687 / 1°34'7"W

OS Eastings: 428899.292

OS Northings: 368754.400988

OS Grid: SK288687

Mapcode National: GBR 57Y.D6W

Mapcode Global: WHCD8.WG53

Entry Name: Round cairn on Harland Edge

Scheduled Date: 26 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008603

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23327

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Beeley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Beeley St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is located on a south west facing shelf below the crest of
Harland Edge which is in the area of the eastern gritstone moorlands of the
Peak District commonly known as the East Moors. It includes a large, roughly
circular, gritstone cairn with a diameter of c.18m and a height of c.1m.
This was partially excavated in 1961-62 by Riley who found that the centre
had previously been the site of an unrecorded antiquarian delve.
The disturbed part of the cairn was found to contain fragments of two pottery
food vessels, cremated bone, a flint arrowhead and two pottery urns of
differing kinds. On the old land surface beneath these remains, the burnt
bones of several individuals were found together with evidence of scorching,
indicative of an in situ cremation. Three grave-pits were also found on the
old land surface beneath the cairn. One, a 2m deep rock-cut grave, contained
evidence of a crouched inhumation, a flint tool and charcoal which has been
radiocarbon dated to c.1750 BC. Another pit, which was covered by a boulder
and contained flint knives, a food vessel inverted over the burnt bones of at
least two individuals and the fragments of a second food vessel, has been
dated to c.1490 BC. The third pit contained further cremated remains and an
inverted food vessel while, at the base of the cairn, further flint artefacts
were discovered with an inverted collared urn and a further cremation. These
remains, together with evidence that more than one gritstone kerb may have
existed around the edge of the cairn, indicate that the monument may have been
constructed in more than one phase during the Early Bronze Age. It is one of
several cairns to be found on Harland Edge, all of which have been assigned to
the Bronze Age on the basis of form, excavated evidence and their proximity to
the extensive Bronze Age field systems occurring below Harland Edge on Beeley
Moor and Beeley Warren.

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.

Through excavation, this multi-phase Bronze Age burial cairn has revealed
substantial evidence important to the understanding of prehistoric settlement
in the East Moors of the Peak District. Although excavation was extensive, the
cairn nevertheless retains sufficient intact archaeological remains still to
be considered of national importance in view of its proximity to other Bronze
Age cairns and its association with a relict Bronze Age landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 63-64
Riley, D N, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in An Early Bronze Age Cairn On Harland Edge, Beeley Moor, Derbys., , Vol. 86, (1966), 31-53
Barnatt, John, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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