Ancient Monuments

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Two adjacent ring cairns on Riddings Rigg, Reeth Low Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3987 / 54°23'55"N

Longitude: -1.9638 / 1°57'49"W

OS Eastings: 402447.888974

OS Northings: 500355.866303

OS Grid: NZ024003

Mapcode National: GBR GKQK.NZ

Mapcode Global: WHB54.TP1S

Entry Name: Two adjacent ring cairns on Riddings Rigg, Reeth Low Moor

Scheduled Date: 4 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012615

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24542

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


Two adjacent ring cairns are situated on a gentle north facing slope
overlooking the intersection of lower Arkengarthdale and Swaledale. The larger
ring cairn includes a 2m wide bank 0.3m high on the north and west sides. On
the south west side the bank is completely eroded away. External curbstones
are visible on the north and east sides. The monument has a diameter of 16m.
The smaller ring cairn is joined to the north east bank of the larger ring
cairn. The monument has a bank 2.5m wide, best preserved on its north west
side. Inner curb stones are visible in its south bank. The monument has a
diameter of 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

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.

Although the larger ring cairn is no longer entire, these are on the whole
well preserved examples of this monument type and will contain further
archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Laurie, T, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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