Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn on Gayles Plantation, 390m ENE of Shooters Well

A Scheduled Monument in Gayles, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4503 / 54°27'1"N

Longitude: -1.8355 / 1°50'7"W

OS Eastings: 410764.5

OS Northings: 506117.501525

OS Grid: NZ107061

Mapcode National: GBR HJMZ.FF

Mapcode Global: WHC64.SD4N

Entry Name: Ring cairn on Gayles Plantation, 390m ENE of Shooters Well

Scheduled Date: 4 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014329

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28403

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Gayles

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Ravensworth

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a small ring cairn which lies 20m south west of Stone
Man Plantation and 390m ENE of Shooters Well in open moorland and under thick
heather. It has a diameter of 5m with a stone bank 1m wide and 0.15m high. The
stone bank has been disturbed on the east side of the cairn. The bank is most
distinct on the south side and the remains of a stone kerb is also visible
around the southern outer edge of the bank. Its grid reference by Global
Positioning System is NZ1076406117. A group of prehistoric carved stones and
small cairns are situated close to the ring cairn. These are the subjects of
separate schedulings.

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 ring cairn has been partly disturbed, much of it survives
intact including a section of its outer kerb and will retain further
archaeological deposits. The ring cairn is one of a group of prehistoric
ritual monuments which include prehistoric carved stones and cairns on Gayles
Moor and represent an important prehistoric landscape.

Source: Historic England


Laurie, T,

Source: Historic England

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