Ancient Monuments

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Three round cairns 70m east of Rydal Beck

A Scheduled Monument in Lakes, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.465 / 54°27'53"N

Longitude: -2.9792 / 2°58'44"W

OS Eastings: 336630.102829

OS Northings: 508174.983407

OS Grid: NY366081

Mapcode National: GBR 7JMT.T6

Mapcode Global: WH826.61MD

Entry Name: Three round cairns 70m east of Rydal Beck

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011351

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22554

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Lakes

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Rydal St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes three round cairns located on the valley floor 70m east
of Rydal Beck. The main cairn is an oval mound of largely turf-covered stones
up to 1.5m high with maximum dimensions of 20m by 30m which is situated upon a
low rocky outcrop. At the summit of the cairn is a shallow circular depression
1.3m in diameter and 0.1m deep surrounded by earthfast stones. 3m to the north
of the main cairn is a slightly oval mound of largely turf-covered stones up
to 0.5m high with maximum dimensions of 5.5m by 5m. 2m to the north-west of
the main cairn is a second slightly oval mound of largely turf-covered stones
up to 0.5m high with maximum dimensions of 6.5m by 6m.

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 minor surface disturbance to the main cairn, the three round cairns
70m east of Rydal Beck survive well. The monument is a rare example in Cumbria
of three closely grouped round cairns. None of them are known to have been
excavated and they will therefore retain undisturbed archaeological deposits
within the cairns and upon the old landsurface beneath.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
SMR No. 13681, Cumbria SMR, Lakes, Rydal Fell, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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