Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns at Crow Chin

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3671 / 53°22'1"N

Longitude: -1.6637 / 1°39'49"W

OS Eastings: 422473.430657

OS Northings: 385637.884483

OS Grid: SK224856

Mapcode National: GBR JYTH.LP

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.DMZJ

Entry Name: Two cairns at Crow Chin

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016810

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31236

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bamford

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Stannington Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument includes the remains of two large adjacent cairns located on the
edge of a significant west-facing escarpment overlooking Bamford Moor. Their
position, size and archaeological history indicate that they were prehistoric
funerary structures of some importance to the local region.
The northerly cairn of the two now comprises an earthen bank with an external
diameter of 20.5m by 18.5m which stands about 0.6m high. Originally, this was
a flat-topped cairn with central mound but the interior has been disturbed by
previous excavation leaving a bare earthen surface and the remains of a
central cist, now dismantled. There are three piles of loose stones which
resulted from the excavation; two are located immediately outside the cairn,
the other stands by the south western rim. There is a kerb of gritstone blocks
around the external perimeter of the cairn which was not excavated and much of
which remains undisturbed. Excavation of the cairn has revealed artefacts,
indicating that the structure was a Bronze Age funerary monument, but residual
worked stone material, incorporated into the mound, indicates that the
immediate area was also occupied during the earlier Mesolithic period.
The second cairn is located approximately 25m to the south of the other and
measures 19.5m by 18m and stands at least 0.8m high. Unlike its northern
counterpart, this cairn stands relatively complete. There are visible
disturbances at the centre of the structure suggesting there may have been a
very limited excavation but many buried features are likely to survive intact.
The monument has a flat-topped rim with the centre rising to form an inner
mound, a relatively unusual feature in the local region. This cairn also has
an outer kerb of gritstone blocks forming a ring around the outside of the
monument. A small undisturbed cairn of approximately 2m by 3m, standing
immediately to the north east of the monument, may also be prehistoric
and is included in the scheduling.

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

The East Moors in Derbyshire includes all the gritstone moors east of the
River Derwent. It covers an area of 105 sq km, of which around 63% is open
moorland and 37% is enclosed. As a result of recent and on-going
archaeological survey, the East Moors area is becoming one of the best
recorded upland areas in England. On the enclosed land the archaeological
remains are fragmentary, but survive sufficiently well to show that early
human activity extended beyond the confines of the open moors.
On the open moors there is significant and well-articulated evidence over
extensive areas for human exploitation of the gritstone uplands from the
Neolithic to the post-medieval periods. Bronze Age activity accounts for the
most intensive use of the moorlands. Evidence for it includes some of the
largest and best preserved field systems and cairnfields in northern England
as well settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other
ceremonial remains which, together, provide a detailed insight into life in
the Bronze Age. Also of importance is the well preserved and often visible
relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods since this
provides an insight into successive changes in land use through time.
A large number of the prehistoric sites on the moors, because of their rarity
in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections,
will be identified as nationally important.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2,000-700 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. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands
and are the stone equivalents 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 prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.
The cairns at Crow Chin are large and complex and were located in a commanding
position overlooking a considerable area of land to the west containing much
evidence for contemporary settlement and agriculture. As such, these funerary
structures were undoubtedly of considerable importance to the community which
built them and are instructive as to the social organisation and religious
beliefs of prehistoric societies. The southern cairn survives reasonably well.
That to the north has been disturbed by excavation but will still retain
significant archaeological information in that section of the mound now
surviving as a bank-like feature.

Source: Historic England


Barnatt, J. W., Peak District Barrow Survey, 1989, unpublished survey archive

Source: Historic England

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