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Pike Stones chambered long cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Anglezarke, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.6499 / 53°38'59"N

Longitude: -2.5658 / 2°33'56"W

OS Eastings: 362699.760136

OS Northings: 417190.806922

OS Grid: SD626171

Mapcode National: GBR BVJ7.9B

Mapcode Global: WH97D.KJF8

Entry Name: Pike Stones chambered long cairn

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1959

Last Amended: 1 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009120

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23731

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Anglezarke

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Rivington

Church of England Diocese: Manchester


The monument includes the Pike Stones Neolithic chambered long cairn. It is
located on a low ridge on a lower extension of the main gritstone mass of
Anglezarke Moor and commands extensive views in all directions except the
north east. It includes a chambered long cairn which has a low elongated mound
of gritstones and glacial erratics up to 0.4m high which is aligned almost
north-south and measures a maximum of 48m long by 19m wide at the northern end
and 14m wide at the southern end, but widens at the centre due to a
combination of disturbance and slippage to approximately 29m. At the wider
northern end the cairn consists of a double wall, the outer of slightly larger
stones than the inner, both curving across the northern end and inwards to
form an entrance or forecourt. This entrance gives access into the cairn's
interior where, towards the northern end, there are remains of an inner burial
chamber slightly out of alignment with the cairn's longer axis. This chamber
is constructed of large gritstone slabs, measures c.4.5m long by 1m wide, and
would originally have been roofed with horizontal slabs and covered by the
gritstone rubble of the cairn. The surviving slabs are five in number and
measure 1.6m-2.7m long by 0.15m-0.45m thick and stand to a maximum height of
1.3m. There are two at the east side, one at the west side, a transverse slab
at the inner end and what is probably a fallen capstone. Around the inner end
of this chamber is a roughly circular area of stones approximately 25m in
diameter and larger than those in the general matrix of the cairn. This
feature suggests the original presence of some form of circular structure
behind the chamber or around part of it similar to that found at chambered
cairns in the Gloucestershire area. In the southern part of the cairn some
regularities in the stones can be seen; some, in lines parallel to the long
axis, are perhaps constructional details, but others, in particular a group
near to the eastern edge, are thought to represent some form of internal
structure which is not presently understood.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Chambered tombs are funerary monuments constructed and used during the Early
and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They comprise linear mounds of
stone covering one or more stone-lined burial chambers. With other types of
long barrow they form the burial places of Britain's early farming communities
and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly within
the present landscape. Where investigated, chambered tombs appear to have been
used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having
been selected for interment. The number of burials placed within the tombs
suggests they were used over a considerable period of time and that they were
important ritual sites for local communities. Some 300 chambered tombs are
recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive
as upstanding monuments, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and
longevity as a monument type, all chambered tombs are considered to be
nationally important.

Despite removal of much of the covering cairn and evidence of modern surface
disturbance, Pike Stones chambered long cairn survives reasonably well. It
retains an internal burial chamber and other constructional features including
evidence for the entrance or forecourt which provided access into the
monument. Being the only known chambered long cairn in Lancashire, Pike Stones
is an unusual outlier to the main regional groupings of such megalithic
monuments; these lying mainly further south, in Wales or the Cotswold-Severn
areas, or further north in south western or western Scotland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bulock, J D, 'Trans Lancs and Chesh Antiq Soc' in The Pikestones: A Chambered Long Cairn of Neolithic Type, , Vol. 68, (1958), 143-5
Lynch, F, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in , , Vol. XXXII, (1966)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Long Cairns, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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