Ancient Monuments

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Cairn on a prominent knoll and cairnfield to its south east on Ravock, Bowes Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Bowes, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.5218 / 54°31'18"N

Longitude: -2.0602 / 2°3'36"W

OS Eastings: 396201.96238

OS Northings: 514058.333654

OS Grid: NY962140

Mapcode National: GBR GJ14.ST

Mapcode Global: WHB4J.BL6W

Entry Name: Cairn on a prominent knoll and cairnfield to its south east on Ravock, Bowes Moor

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016608

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31818

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Bowes

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham


The monument includes a cairn on a prominent knoll, and a cairnfield on more
level ground to its south east. It is situated near the south east edge of the
upland plateau of Ravock on Bowes Moor.
The cairn on the summit of the knoll is 6m in diameter and 0.5m high. It
occupies a very prominent position, overlooking not only the cairnfield to its
south east, but also a larger cairnfield to its south west which is the
subject of a separate scheduling.
The cairnfield consists of at least six cairns between 2m and 5m in diameter
and up to 0.5m high. Two of these cairns have rubble walled enclosures
associated with them. There also several rubble banks lying at the edge of an
area largely cleared of stone. The largest of the rubble banks is on the south
side of this cleared area and is 4m wide and 0.6m high. The combination of
cairns and linear banks indicates that the remains were previously those of a
prehistoric field system.

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.

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for
agriculture and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define
field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated,
although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns
contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period
(from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of
field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into
the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation
in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important
information on the development of land use and agricultural practices.
Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisation during the prehistoric period.
The cairn and cairnfield on Ravock, Bowes Moor survive well and will retain
significant information on prehistoric land use on the moor. They are also
part of a wider prehistoric landscape which includes further cairns and field

Source: Historic England


Ravock, Cleveland County Archaeology Section, A66 Archaeology Project, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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