Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 180m north east of Ramsley Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Holmesfield, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2731 / 53°16'23"N

Longitude: -1.5753 / 1°34'31"W

OS Eastings: 428417.42483

OS Northings: 375208.119963

OS Grid: SK284752

Mapcode National: GBR KZFL.RD

Mapcode Global: WHCCW.SZ1N

Entry Name: Cairnfield 180m north east of Ramsley Lodge

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017114

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31262

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Holmesfield

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Dronfield St John Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument includes a small group of at least four cairns forming a compact
cairnfield, interpreted as evidence for prehistoric land clearance for
settlement and agriculture. The cairnfield occupies a relatively well drained
location standing on the east flank of a ridge of moorland. Although
apparently isolated, there are extensive Bronze Age settlement remains to the
north east, which are the subject of separate schedulings.

The cairns stand on the east side of the ridge and range from approximately 2m
to 5m in diameter. The cairns appear to be undisturbed and are relatively
small and stand in a stone cleared area of moorland indicating that they are
clearance measures rather than funerary structures.

MAP EXTRACT
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 180m north east of Ramsley Lodge is important as a well
preserved group of cairns which appears to be part of a small area of
prehistoric clearance for agricultural purposes. As the cairns are undisturbed
buried archaeological information will survive. As such, it is important to
our understanding of prehistoric agriculture and settlement on the gritstone
moors of the Peak District.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 48-9

Source: Historic England

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