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Long cairn 370m ESE of Mossthorn Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Dacre, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.6664 / 54°39'58"N

Longitude: -2.8032 / 2°48'11"W

OS Eastings: 348288.325761

OS Northings: 530440.509401

OS Grid: NY482304

Mapcode National: GBR 8GVH.X0

Mapcode Global: WH813.XZ92

Entry Name: Long cairn 370m ESE of Mossthorn Farm

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1952

Last Amended: 7 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012819

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23766

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Dacre

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Newton Reigny St John

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes a partly mutilated long cairn located 370m ESE of
Mossthorn Farm at the extreme southern end of Copt How ridge, from where the
ground falls steeply on the west and south sides to a small stream and less
steeply on the east side. It includes a turf-covered mound of cobbles and
earth up to 4m high measuring c.50m east-west by 43m north-south. A number of
urns were reportedly discovered here several years ago but their present
whereabouts is unknown.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Long cairns were constructed as elongated rubble mounds and acted as funerary
monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (c.3400-2400 BC). They
represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as
such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present
landscape. Where investigated, long cairns appear to have been used for
communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been
selected for interment. Long cairns sometimes display evidence of internal
structural arrangements, including stone-lined compartments and tomb chambers
constructed from massive slabs. Some examples also show edge-set kerb stones
bounding parts of the cairn perimeter. Certain sites provide evidence for
several phases of funeral activity preceding construction of the cairn, and
consequently it is probable that long cairns acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of
long cairns and long barrows, their counterparts in central and eastern
England, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as a visible monument and due to their comparative
rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all
positively identified long cairns are considered to be nationally important.

Despite some plough clipping on the monument's western side, the long cairn
370m ESE of Mossthorn Farm survives reasonably well. It is one of a number of
surviving Neolithic and later prehistoric monuments situated in close
proximity to Penrith and the Eden valley, and attests to the importance of
this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be
found here.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
FMW Report, Crow, J, Long cairns E of Mossthorn Farm, (1985)
SMR No. 3793, Cumbria SMR, Long cairns E of Mossthorn Farm, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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