Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 500m west of Debdon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Cartington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3345 / 55°20'4"N

Longitude: -1.9131 / 1°54'47"W

OS Eastings: 405612.019177

OS Northings: 604497.233526

OS Grid: NU056044

Mapcode National: GBR H62R.MK

Mapcode Global: WHB0Q.L57V

Entry Name: Cairn 500m west of Debdon Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 July 1933

Last Amended: 17 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011632

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20899

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Cartington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a cairn of Bronze Age date situated in a
hollow between two hills. The monument survives as a circle of eight stones
measuring 4.6m in diameter, backed by a bank of earth up to 3m wide and
surviving to a height of 0.7m. The area within the circle of stones is now
empty but was originally filled with cairn material which has subsequently
been removed. The cairn was excavated towards the end of the 19th century by
Canon Greenwell who discovered a central grave containing cremated bone and
charcoal. The cairn, which measures a total of 8.5m in diameter, has no
visible traces of a surrounding ditch.

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.

Although the cairn west of Debdon Farm has undergone partial excavation in the
past, the limit of disturbance is confined to the central area and significant
surrounding archaeological deposits survive undisturbed. Additionally, this
cairn is one of a group of prehistoric burial cairns in the area and it will
contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity in the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877)
No. 2582,

Source: Historic England

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