Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn 350m east of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Barningham, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.478 / 54°28'40"N

Longitude: -1.9079 / 1°54'28"W

OS Eastings: 406062.192978

OS Northings: 509191.513033

OS Grid: NZ060091

Mapcode National: GBR HJ3N.QJ

Mapcode Global: WHB4S.NPNX

Entry Name: Ring cairn 350m east of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017424

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30490

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Barningham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Barningham St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a ring cairn, 13m in diameter. It is situated on
Barningham Moor, on flat ground west of a stream, 25m south of the road from
Barningham to East Hope, and 325m east of Haythwaite. The ring cairn consists
of a low, circular, rubble bank, mostly visible as a slight crest. The bank is
about 2m wide and 0.1m high. Some sandstone is visible in the south side, the
remainder being covered by grass and bracken.

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

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 of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual 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 activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

This ring cairn survives well, despite slight stone-robbing in the past. It
retains evidence of its form and location, and will contribute to our
knowledge of prehistoric burial practices. It forms an important part of the
prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous other
cairns, carved rocks, settlements and agricultural field systems. This site
will therefore contribute to studies of prehistoric landscapes and the
changing patterns of land use over time.

Source: Historic England


Cairns on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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