Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield 420m south east of triangulation point on Gains Law

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5448 / 55°32'41"N

Longitude: -2.0665 / 2°3'59"W

OS Eastings: 395901.526245

OS Northings: 627895.634968

OS Grid: NT959278

Mapcode National: GBR G40B.D5

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.7W6P

Entry Name: Cairnfield 420m south east of triangulation point on Gains Law

Scheduled Date: 26 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017383

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31742

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Akeld

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a cairnfield of Bronze Age date situated slightly below
the summit on the east side of Gains Law. It commands extensive views to the
north and south. Further remains of prehistoric settlements and field systems
in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. The cairnfield has
maximum dimensions of 260m north-south by 150m east-west. It contains the
remains of at least 20 stone cairns. The mounds vary in size from 2m to 7m in
diameter and stand to a maximum height of 0.55m high. Some of the cairns have
kerbs around their perimeters and are interpreted as funerary in origin.

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

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 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 cairnfield 420m south east of a triangulation point on Gains Law is
reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The
monument contains evidence relating to agricultural and funerary practices
within, beneath and between the cairns. It is situated within an area of
prehistoric sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological
landscape. It will contribute to the study of prehistoric settlement and
activity in this area.

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 172,

Source: Historic England

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