Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn on Winter Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Rivington, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.6305 / 53°37'49"N

Longitude: -2.522 / 2°31'19"W

OS Eastings: 365577.10155

OS Northings: 415010.341395

OS Grid: SD655150

Mapcode National: GBR BVTG.S9

Mapcode Global: WH97M.709M

Entry Name: Round cairn on Winter Hill

Scheduled Date: 20 September 1962

Last Amended: 20 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008906

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23709

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Rivington

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Rivington

Church of England Diocese: Manchester


The monument includes a round cairn located on moorland approximately 400m WNW
of the summit of Winter Hill at the northern edge of the summit plateau and
overlooking a steep drop to the north. It includes a circular earth and stone
mound measuring 19.2m in diameter and up to 0.3m high. Limited excavation of
the cairn during the 1950s located a central stone cairn c.2.5m in diameter
and 1.5m high surrounded by a low outer wall or kerb approximately 18m in
diameter and 0.4m high. The intervening space between the cairn and wall was
filled initially with well preserved fresh vegetal matter then topped with
large inverted turves and finally covered with sub-soil. Analysis of pollen
taken from the excavation has given a date of about 1600-1400 BC for the
cairn's construction.

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 excavation of the monument during the 1950s, the round cairn
on Winter Hill survives reasonably well. This excavation found well preserved
organic material both within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath.
This organic material afforded a rare opportunity to study the local
vegetational community at the time of the cairn's construction. Further
evidence of this well preserved organic material will exist within the cairn
and upon the old landsurface beneath.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bulock, J D, Rosser, C E P, Dimbleby, G W, 'Trans Lancs and Chesh Antiq Soc' in Winter Hill: A Composite Cairn of the Bronze Age, , Vol. 70, (1960), 66-73
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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