Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield on Broomhead Moor, 500m north west of Mortimer House

A Scheduled Monument in Bradfield, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.4479 / 53°26'52"N

Longitude: -1.636 / 1°38'9"W

OS Eastings: 424274.423372

OS Northings: 394630.985912

OS Grid: SK242946

Mapcode National: GBR KX0K.MR

Mapcode Global: WHCC2.VL4M

Entry Name: Cairnfield on Broomhead Moor, 500m north west of Mortimer House

Scheduled Date: 4 August 1933

Last Amended: 22 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018039

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29809

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


The monument includes a cluster of small cairns extending over the site of a
prehistoric feature known as the Apronful of Stones. The cairnfield lies in
open moorland close to a Millstone Grit scarp edge, known as Hurkling Edge.
The Apronful of Stones is interpreted as a large cairn which formerly stood in
a prominent position close to the edge of the scarp, Hurkling Edge. Recent
field surveys have failed to locate a large cairn at the designated location,
although an arrangement of loose stones is interpreted as the scattered or
disarranged remains of a large cairn, now destroyed. These remains are
included in the scheduling.
Heather removal immediately adjacent to the site of the Apronful of
Stones has revealed a small cairnfield to the north of a track known as the
Dukes Drive which runs along the gritstone edge. There are six visible cairns
located close together on ground gently shelving to the north east. The area
of moorland around the cairns appears stone-cleared and the features are
interpreted as prehistoric clearance cairns, probably of Bronze Age date. The
cairns are composed of small and medium sized stones. The largest of the
group measures approximately 6.5m by 3.5m and is ovoid in plan. The other five
cairns are slightly smaller and also tend to be ovoid in shape. The cairns
stand to a height of about 0.3m-0.4m and are covered with turf and peat. It
is likely that more of the cairns survive beneath the ground surface.
The cairns form a compact group in an area of only approximately 30m in
diameter with the southern extent marked by Dukes Drive. The presence of the
cairnfield supports the view that the Apronful of Stones was once a large
cairn which has been subsequently destroyed. It is relatively common in Bronze
Age field systems to find that one or more clearance cairns also functioned
as funerary monuments. In these cases, it appears that extra material was
heaped on the cairn which contained a primary and sometimes secondary burials.
Its location, overlooking the Loxley Valley close to the gritstone edge, also
indicates that its function may have been funerary. It is possible that,
although most of the stone from the Apronful of Stones has been robbed away,
some buried prehistoric features are likely to survive.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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.

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 the cairnfields provide important
information on the development of land use and agricultural practices.
The small cairnfield 500m north west of Mortimer House which developed near to
a prehistoric burial cairn, provides an insight into prehistoric agricultural
use of this area of moorland. The associated funerary cairn, although largely
dismantled, may still retain buried archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Addy, S O, The Hall of Waltheof, (1893)
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 42

Source: Historic England

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