Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and field system north of Eaglestone Flat, 450m south west of Swine Sty

A Scheduled Monument in Curbar, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.27 / 53°16'12"N

Longitude: -1.6016 / 1°36'5"W

OS Eastings: 426664.942865

OS Northings: 374855.139903

OS Grid: SK266748

Mapcode National: GBR KZ8M.1H

Mapcode Global: WHCD2.C2KG

Entry Name: Cairnfield and field system north of Eaglestone Flat, 450m south west of Swine Sty

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017109

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31257

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Curbar

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Curbar All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the remains of a Bronze Age field system comprising
lengths of linear field clearance banks and several small cairns. The field
system occupies a small bluff of land overlooking the Sandyford Brook. It is
likely to have been part of a more extensive area of settlement and
agriculture which survives to the east and north east and is the subject of a
number of separate schedulings.
The field system includes a 60m length of a substantial sinuous bank of turf
and stones. This feature is interpreted as a prehistoric field bank, formed
through the clearance of field plots on one or both sides of the bank.
Vestiges of similar linear clearance can be identified nearby and it is likely
that further remains survive below ground. The field banks incorporate several
elongated cairns, while further cairns stand isolated from the field banks,
one example having a diameter of approximately 2m.
The prehistoric field system survives in an area which also contains further
traces of linear features and lynchets forming the remains of at least two
rectangular field plots. These are interpreted as the remains of medieval or
post-medieval enclosures. Within the scheduling is a ruinous drystone animal
pen which is likely to be of post-medieval date.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

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 surrounding land surface to improve its use for agriculture
and on occasions their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
Occasionally, some of the cairns were used for funerary purposes although
without excavation it is difficult to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC)
although the majority date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). Cairnfields can
also retain information concerning the development of land use and
agricultural practices as well as the diversity of beliefs and social
organisation during the prehistoric period.
The cairnfield and field system 450m south west of Swine Sty survives well
and provides an insight into Bronze Age agricultural use of this moorland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 43-4
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 43-4

Source: Historic England

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