Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn, on Eston Moor 1.3 km north of Mill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Eston, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.5477 / 54°32'51"N

Longitude: -1.1333 / 1°7'59"W

OS Eastings: 456160.806192

OS Northings: 517278.173956

OS Grid: NZ561172

Mapcode National: GBR NHJV.FK

Mapcode Global: WHD71.KYKL

Entry Name: Ring cairn, on Eston Moor 1.3 km north of Mill Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1952

Last Amended: 19 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011277

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20854

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Electoral Ward/Division: Eston

Built-Up Area: Middlesbrough

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Eston Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a ring cairn of Bronze Age date situated on an area of
flat moorland. The ring cairn measures 16m in diameter; the annular bank,
composed of small stones and earth, is 3 metres thick and stands to a height
of 0.2m. It encloses a hollow central area measuring 10m in diameter. The
burials which were deposited within the central area are not visible but will
survive as buried features below the ground surface. There is no surface trace
of an internal or external stone kerb revettment. The track immediately to the
west of the ring cairn is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it is included.

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

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite some recent spoil dumping, the ring cairn on Eston Moor survives in a
good state of preservation. Its archaeological deposits survive intact, and
evidence of the date and manner of construction and the nature and duration of
use will be preserved within the central area and within and beneath the stone
bank. This monument is one of very few ring cairns known in Cleveland, and
will contain important information to aid our understanding of the diversity
and complexity of Bronze Age ritual and funerary practices. The importance of
this monument is enhanced by the survival of other Bronze Age funerary
monuments, of different form, in the immediate vicinity. This evidence
provides a clear indication of the extent of Bronze Age settlement and
activity in the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Vyner, B E, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age activity on the Eston Hills, Cleveland, , Vol. 63, (1991)
No. 0067,

Source: Historic England

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