Ancient Monuments

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Two standing stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands

A Scheduled Monument in Clifton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6263 / 54°37'34"N

Longitude: -2.7273 / 2°43'38"W

OS Eastings: 353140.038957

OS Northings: 525929.073494

OS Grid: NY531259

Mapcode National: GBR 9GDY.BC

Mapcode Global: WH81C.2ZK8

Entry Name: Two standing stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands

Scheduled Date: 21 October 1938

Last Amended: 22 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012826

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23773

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Clifton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Clifton St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes two standing stones and an adjacent round cairn located
on flat land south of Crooklands. The northern of the two standing stones
measures 1.6m wide by 0.73m thick and is 1.77m high. The southern stone
measures 1m wide by 0.57m thick and is 1.23m high. The stones lie 2.34m apart.
Limited excavation at the site in 1977 prior to re-erection of the southern
stone revealed a previously unsuspected small oval-shaped cairn measuring 4m
by 3.2m situated immediately to the east of the standing stones. Although
suffering from plough damage which had destroyed its upper part, the cairn was
found to be composed of small stones laid in circles around a central area of
larger stones and surrounded by the remains of a kerb of unshaped boulders. In
the cairn's central area was a large amount of burnt bone, the quantity of
which suggested to the excavator the remains of several humans.

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

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

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. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a
major visual element in the modern landscape. 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
Despite past disturbance by a combination of re-erection of one of the
standing stones, plough disturbance and limited excavation, the two standing
stones and a round cairn south of Crooklands survive reasonably well. This
excavation located human remains, and further evidence of interments will
exist within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath. The monument is
one of a number of 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


Books and journals
Fairclough, G J, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Excavation of Standing Stones and Cairn at Clifton, Cumbria 1977, , Vol. 79, (1979), 1-4
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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