Ancient Monuments

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Ring cairn, 500m north west of Burbage Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Dore and Totley, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.3247 / 53°19'29"N

Longitude: -1.6159 / 1°36'57"W

OS Eastings: 425677.436307

OS Northings: 380936.432171

OS Grid: SK256809

Mapcode National: GBR KY4Z.YW

Mapcode Global: WHCCP.4PRK

Entry Name: Ring cairn, 500m north west of Burbage Bridge

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017589

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29801

County: Sheffield

Electoral Ward/Division: Dore and Totley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Dore Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument includes a ring cairn situated on the western edge of a stream,
approximately 500m north west of Burbage Bridge. The monument occupies gently
sloping ground, shelving to the south, and overlooks the Burbage Valley in an
area of unimproved moorland. To the north east is the fortified outcrop known
as Carl Wark and to the south east is a natural rock formation, known as the
Toad's Mouth.
The ring cairn is roughly circular with external dimensions of approximately
10m by 9.5m. It comprises a bank of stones and turf standing to a maximum
height of about 0.4m and varying in width between 1.5m and 2.4m. The internal
dimensions of the ring cairn are 7.5m by 6m. The bank contains some noticeably
larger stones (orthostats) amongst the smaller stones. On the southern side
of the ring cairn is an opening into the centre of the feature comprising a
gap in the bank of about 1.3m wide. The monument occupies an area of
stone strewn moorland. The interior of the ring cairn, however, is a flat
stone free area.
About 180m to the south east of the monument is a cairnfield with linear
clearance banks. Approximately 240m to the north west is a similar cairnfield
with linear clearance banks, close to Winyards Nick. Both cairnfields may well
be contemporary with the ring cairn.
The monument has previously been interpreted as a house site, although its
location in boggy ground and lack of associated features argues against such
an interpretation. Alternatively, the feature could have been a cairn of
stones which has subsequently been robbed for walling stone. However, this is
doubtful since no stone walls exist anywhere near the site. The monument is
now interpreted as a Bronze Age ring cairn possibly used for funerary and
ritual purposes.

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 surrounding a hollow central area. Ring cairns are found mainly in
upland areas of England and are often found 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. As a relatively rare class of monument exihibiting
considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining
significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.
This is a good example of an undisturbed ring cairn which will retain
significant archaeological deposits and information on the structure of the
monument and the burials placed within it. It is part of a wider prehistoric
landscape and will contribute to the study of the contemporary use of this
area of the Peak District.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 47-8
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986)
Beswick, P, Merrills, D, 'Trans. of the Hunter Archaeological Soc.' in L H Butcher's Survey of Early Settlement ..., , Vol. 12, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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