Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Currick long cairn 710m north east of Cald Well

A Scheduled Monument in Bewcastle, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.1366 / 55°8'11"N

Longitude: -2.7267 / 2°43'36"W

OS Eastings: 353765.69274

OS Northings: 582708.992092

OS Grid: NY537827

Mapcode National: GBR 99D1.GH

Mapcode Global: WH7Z1.25T2

Entry Name: The Currick long cairn 710m north east of Cald Well

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1975

Last Amended: 16 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015734

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27759

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Bewcastle

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Bewcastle St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a partly mutilated long cairn known as The Currick. It
is located within Kershope Forest 2.3km north east of Stelshaw Lodge and 710m
north east of Cald Well. The cairn is aligned WNW-ESE and includes a partly
scrub covered mound of stones up to 2m high and measuring 45m along its long
axis by a maximum of 22.5m wide. It is wedge shaped in plan with the wider end
to the east, where there is a hollow thought to be the site of a collapsed
megalithic chamber. Two indentations about halfway along the cairn's long
sides are thought to represent the position of two further megalithic

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 past stone robbing, The Currick long cairn survives in fair
condition. It lies close to other prehistoric monuments around Bewcastle and
thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the
diversity of monument classes to be found here.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Monuments Threatened or Destroyed, (1963), 13
Hodgson, K S, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Some Notes on Prehistoric Remains in the Border District, , Vol. XLIII, (1943), 168-70
FMW Report, Crow, J, Long cairn 230m NE of Stelshaw Lodge, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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