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Ring cairn, 340m north west of Mortimer House

A Scheduled Monument in Bradfield, Sheffield

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4474 / 53°26'50"N

Longitude: -1.6329 / 1°37'58"W

OS Eastings: 424479.851937

OS Northings: 394582.121358

OS Grid: SK244945

Mapcode National: GBR KX1K.8X

Mapcode Global: WHCC2.WLMZ

Entry Name: Ring cairn, 340m north west of Mortimer House

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017667

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29819

County: Sheffield

Civil Parish: Bradfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bradfield St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

Details

The monument includes the circular earthwork of a ring cairn situated in
moorland overlooking the village of Bradfield. The site of the monument
slopes gently to the east close to a linear earthwork known as The Bar Dyke.
It stands on a broad ridge crest between higher moorland to the west and the
lower cultivated land shelves to the south and south east. The ring cairn is
part of a group of similar monuments, dated to the Bronze Age, surviving on
the gritstone fringes of the Peak District.
The ring cairn is roughly circular, measuring 27m by 23m externally and 22.5m
by 21m internally. It comprises a low bank which stands approximately 0.3m
high. The width of the bank is variable but, typically, is 1.5m-2.5m wide.
Some of the earthwork is poorly defined and is often obscured by heather.
There is a small, shallow pit in the western interior edge of the bank. A
small cairn appears to be superimposed on the eastern edge of the embankment,
with a diameter of 4.5m. A disused pathway or animal track passes east-west
through the earthwork which has caused some erosion damage to the embankment
and interior.
The ring cairn dates to the Bronze Age and forms part of a series of remains
of the same date on the gritstone moors of the Peak District. A small
cairnfield is located to the west, which is the subject of a separate
scheduling (SM 29809), and the remains of a Bronze Age or possibly Romano-
British settlement is located at Smallfield, within 1km to the south east.
There has in the past been some confusion over the location of a feature known
as `The Apronful of Stones': this is now located by the Ordnance Survey some
300m to the west. However, older maps show the `Apronful' located on the site
of this ring cairn. The `Apronful' is described as the remains of a large
barrow or cairn.
All fences and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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 cain is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones surrounding a hollow central area. They are found mainly in the upland
areas of Britain and are interpreted as being of Early or Middle Bronze Age in
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, exhibiting
considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining
significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.
The ring cairn 340m north west of Mortimer House survives well and will retain
significant information about its original form and the burials placed within
it.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 42-4
Other
Barnatt, J W, Peak District Barrow Survey, 1989, unpublished survey

Source: Historic England

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