Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield with linear banks and carved rocks stretching from Woofa Bank to Green Crag

A Scheduled Monument in Burley, Bradford

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Latitude: 53.9066 / 53°54'23"N

Longitude: -1.7934 / 1°47'36"W

OS Eastings: 413672.347709

OS Northings: 445619.332523

OS Grid: SE136456

Mapcode National: GBR HRX8.JC

Mapcode Global: WHC8W.F27H

Entry Name: Cairnfield with linear banks and carved rocks stretching from Woofa Bank to Green Crag

Scheduled Date: 20 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011752

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25310

County: Bradford

Civil Parish: Burley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Burley-in-Wharfedale St Mary the Blessed Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a cairnfield c.230m x 125m extending from Woofa Bank to
Green Crag. It contains a minimum of 31 cairns, two carved rocks and a number
of short stretches of linear bank.
The cairns are between 2m and 6m in diameter, tending towards the larger end
of this range. A number are irregular in shape, being more oval or crescent
shaped than round.
The linear banks are low, typically 2m wide and 0.25m high. They do not have a
direct relationship with the cairns and may belong to a different period of
use. Most of the banks are on the same (approximately south west to north
east) alignment and may represent the robbed remains of a more extensive field
The two carved rocks are earthfast boulders with extensive carvings in the cup
and ring tradition

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

Rombalds Moor is an eastern outlier of the main Pennine range lying between
the valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire. The bulk of this area of 90 sq km of
rough moorland lies over 200m above sea level. The moor is particularly rich
in remains of prehistoric activity. The most numerous relics are the rock
carvings which can be found on many of the boulders and outcrops scattered
across the moor. Burial monuments, stone circles and a range of enclosed
settlements are also known.
Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and occasionally their distribution can be seen to define field plots.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed during the Neolithic period (from c.3400
BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field
clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the
later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in
the size, content and association of cairnfields provide important information
on the development and associations of land use and agricultural practices.
Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisation during the prehistoric period.

Prehistoric rock carving is found on natural boulders and rock outcrops in
many areas of upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England
in Northumberland, Durham, and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form
of decoration is the `cup' marking, where small cup-like hollows are worked
into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more
`rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the rings may also
exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Other shapes and patterns also
occur but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or
may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and
Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one our most important insights
into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but
they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. All positively
identified prehistoric rock carvings sites will normally be identified as
nationally important.
This cairnfield survives well and displays many of the features typical of
this type of monument. The presence of carved rocks within the cairnfield may
be evidence of a link between rock carvings and other prehistoric features, or
continuing use of the same area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 49
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 49
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 100
Bannister, J, The Vegetation and Archaeology of Rombalds Moor (Phd thesis), 1986, Discussion

Source: Historic England

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