Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two round cairns in Mollen Wood, 660m east of Parkgate Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.0286 / 55°1'42"N

Longitude: -2.6842 / 2°41'2"W

OS Eastings: 356363.149949

OS Northings: 570662.328307

OS Grid: NY563706

Mapcode National: GBR 9BP9.P6

Mapcode Global: WH7ZF.RV0X

Entry Name: Two round cairns in Mollen Wood, 660m east of Parkgate Bridge

Scheduled Date: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015767

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27767

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Askerton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Lanercostwith Kirkcambeck St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes two round cairns located on gently sloping land close to
the south east corner of Mollen Wood, 660m east of Parkgate Bridge. The
northern cairn includes a circular mound of stones measuring 8m in diameter
and up to 1.5m high. A central hollow in the cairn's surface indicates
unrecorded archaeological investigation and this disturbance has revealed part
of a stone cist which would have held a cremation or inhumation. The southern
cairn includes an oval-shaped mound of stones measuring 9m by 6m and up to
0.4m high. Three large boulders on the south side of the monument are thought
to be the remains of a kerb which would have originally encircled the cairn.

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

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. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. 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 communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Despite limited unrecorded archaeological investigation at the centre of the
northern cairn and minor damage to both cairns by tree root growth, the two
round cairns in Mollen Wood survive reasonably well and will contain
undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mounds and upon the old
landsurface beneath. The cairns lie close to other prehistoric monuments
around Bewcastle, thus indicating the importance of this area in prehistoric
times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

Source: Historic England


Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
SMR No. 77, Cumbria SMR, Cairn in Mollen Wood, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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