Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn 1250m north-east of Cartington Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Cartington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3426 / 55°20'33"N

Longitude: -1.9259 / 1°55'33"W

OS Eastings: 404795.322407

OS Northings: 605398.740208

OS Grid: NU047053

Mapcode National: GBR G6ZN.VM

Mapcode Global: WHB0J.DZ45

Entry Name: Cairn 1250m north-east of Cartington Castle

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008691

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20898

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Cartington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a large cairn of Bronze Age date situated on the edge of
a scarp on Cartington Hill. It commands extensive views in all directions and
is a prominent landmark. The heather covered cairn is very well preserved and
measures 14m in diameter and survives to a height of 1.3m. Traces of a kerb
are visible around the northern periphery where the cairn is best preserved.
A hole at the centre of the mound has been produced by stone robbing.

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.

Despite limited stone robbing, this cairn is very well preserved and largely
intact. Significant archaeological deposits are undisturbed and contain
valuable evidence relating to the construction of the cairn and the nature and
duration of its use. Additionally, it is one of a group of large Prehistoric
burial cairns located prominently on the summits of hills in Coquetdale and it
will contribute to our understanding of Prehistoric settlement and activity in
the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dixon, D D, Upper Coquetdale, (1903)
No. 2275,

Source: Historic England

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