Ancient Monuments

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Platform cairn south of Hill Rake

A Scheduled Monument in Hazlebadge, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3195 / 53°19'10"N

Longitude: -1.7416 / 1°44'29"W

OS Eastings: 417311.169

OS Northings: 380319.924

OS Grid: SK173803

Mapcode National: GBR JZ81.RR

Mapcode Global: WHCCM.6TXK

Entry Name: Platform cairn south of Hill Rake

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1932

Last Amended: 13 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011208

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23286

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hazlebadge

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bradwell St Barnabas

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is a form of platform cairn comprising a roughly circular
flat-topped mound with a diameter of c.18m. It is c.0.75m high and has a
hilltop location overlooking Bradwell Dale in the north-eastern shelves of the
limestone plateau of Derbyshire. Partial excavations of the mound were carried
out by Bagshawe between 1866 and 1868 and by Harris in 1924. During World War
II a home guard trench was dug around the southern rim. Bagshawe found the
remains of several burials including a crouched inhumation in a rectangular
cist or grave, a crouched inhumation in an oval cist accompanied by a pottery
food vessel, a crouched inhumation in a ruined cist set high in the mound, and
a decayed inhumation in an oval cist accompanied by a barbed flint arrowhead.
Two pavements were uncovered, one beneath an extended inhumation and the other
beneath a crouched inhumation. The crouched skeleton of a child was found
accompanied by a pottery beaker and a piece of bronze while, near the surface
of the mound, were the disturbed remains of four other inhumations. Part of a
shale bracelet and a flint scraper were also recovered in addition to a bone
pin and spatula. The remains indicate that the monument had an extended period
of use throughout the Beaker and Early Bronze Age periods.
Roughly 50m south-west of the platform cairn is a smaller mound with a
diameter of 9m by 7m and a height of c.0.5m. This may be a satellite barrow
associated with the larger cairn. However, an oval scoop taken out of its west
side suggests it may alternatively be a small limekiln, possibly associated
with Hill Rake since quicklime was sometimes used in blasting as a cheap
substitute for gunpowder. Because of its uncertain classification, the feature
has not been included in the scheduling.

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

Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and
dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600BC). They were constructed as low
flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some
examples have other features, including peripheral banks and internal mounds
constructed on the platform. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the
edges of the platform, bank or mound, or all three. Platform cairns occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter
instances they are normally found alongside cairns of other types. Although no
precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are under
250 known examples of this class of monument nationally. As a rare monument
type, exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial proportion of
surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The platform cairn
south of Hill Rake lies outside the main area of distribution and has been
shown to contain substantial evidence of a variety of prehistoric burial
practices. Although partial excavation has cut a trench across the centre of
the barrow, and a Home Guard trench has disturbed it on its south side, it
still retains significant areas of undisturbed archaeological remains. It is,
in addition, an unusual form of barrow for the Peak District.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Clarke, D L, The Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland, (1970)
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 55-7
Bagshawe, B, Manuscript in the Sheffield City Museum and City Library,

Source: Historic England

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