Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn and cairn on Ramsley Moor, 850m north east of Ramsley Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Holmesfield, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2769 / 53°16'36"N

Longitude: -1.5674 / 1°34'2"W

OS Eastings: 428946.077883

OS Northings: 375636.121296

OS Grid: SK289756

Mapcode National: GBR KZHK.G0

Mapcode Global: WHCCW.WWTQ

Entry Name: Ring cairn and cairn on Ramsley Moor, 850m north east of Ramsley Lodge

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017115

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31263

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


The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn standing on a small ridge of
moorland together with a small cairn to its north. Both structures are
interpreted as evidence for ceremonial activity during the Bronze Age.

The ring cairn stands in a slightly elevated position on a small ridge of
moorland in an area otherwise prone to seasonal waterlogging. It measures
approximately 23.5m by 21.5m in diameter externally and comprises a bank of
stone and turf with a level interior. The bank stands approximately 0.5m-0.6m
high and is up to 3.5m wide, leaving an internal diameter of approximately 19m
by 16m. There is an entranceway on its south western edge which may be
original and the western side of the monument appears to stand on an
artificial revetment created to provide a level site.

To the north of the ring cairn stands a small cairn of about 3m in diameter.
It appears to be connected to the ring cairn via a slight embankment. The
cairn has been disturbed on its eastern side.

Although apparently isolated, there are extensive Bronze Age settlement
remains to the south west and east. The monument itself stands in a prominent
position on the ridge and forms a ritual element of this prehistoric

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.

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas and
sometimes occur in pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round
barrow cemeteries and are monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The
exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood but excavation
has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting associated with the burial ritual. As a
relatively rare class of monument, exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of protection.

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 in stone-lined compartments
called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual
element in the modern landscape. 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.

The ring cairn and cairn on Ramsley Moor, 850m north east of Ramsley Lodge,
survive well and will retain significant information on their original date
and function. They will thereby contribute to our understanding of
prehistoric activity on the moorlands.

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), 48-9
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 59-60
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 59-60
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 48-9

Source: Historic England

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