Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and quarry on Bamford Edge, 720m north of Clough House

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3579 / 53°21'28"N

Longitude: -1.6843 / 1°41'3"W

OS Eastings: 421106.956601

OS Northings: 384603.636157

OS Grid: SK211846

Mapcode National: GBR JYPM.40

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.3V6N

Entry Name: Cairnfield and quarry on Bamford Edge, 720m north of Clough House

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018084

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29826

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bamford

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bamford and Derwent St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a group of cairns and short linear embankments close to
the Millstone Grit escarpment known as Bamford Edge. The cairnfield is
interpreted as clearance associated with Bronze Age agriculture and
settlement. Within the area of protection is a disused stone quarry containing
evidence for the production of millstones in the post-medieval period.
There is a concentration of at least ten small cairns standing between the
escarpment of Bamford Edge and a much smaller escarpment to the immediate
north east. The ground within the cairnfield is relatively stone-free
compared to that of its surroundings. The cairnfield occupies a narrow strip
of land on a slight ridge with drainage to the north west and south east. The
cairns measure between 2m and 4m in diameter and are distributed in a band
following the scarp to the north east. Some of the cairns have been
disturbed, others remain intact. All of the cairns appear to have been
clearance features, although one disturbed example appears to have an internal
kerbed arrangement of stones.
There are traces of linear embankment within the cairnfield, interpreted as
clearance debris thrown against field plot divisions, which where possibly
hedges or fencing. Some of the clearance cairns are contained within the
lengths of linear embankments where they take a more ovoid form.
The main linear clearance embankment appears to divide the cairnfield along
its north west-south east axis.
Within the area of protection, and about 10m beyond the southern end of the
cairnfield, is a small Millstone Grit escarpment which has been quarried for
stone. The quarried area measures approximately 30m wide by 60m in length,
along a north-south axis. Within the quarried area are at least three
discarded or unfinished flat and slightly domed millstones, the remains of a
small stone-built hut and working areas.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 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 in close proximity to one another.
They often consist largely of clearance debris from the surrounding
landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. Often their distribution
pattern can be seen to define field plots, especially when associated with
linear clearance banks. Most 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.
The cairnfield on Bamford Edge survives well, together with linear clearance
embankments, indicating a complex arrangement of field division. As such, it
is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural practices.
On the Gritstone fringes of the Peak District, small quarries were developed
to produce a variety of grinding wheels for commercial and industrial
activities, taking advantage of abundant natural outcrops and a highly
suitable type of sandstone. Such quarrying is known to be of considerable
antiquity, although most of the surviving examples date from the post-medieval
or Industrial periods. Although some grinding wheels were produced as
millstones for agrarian use, many quarries are situated close to areas of
population and industrial growth and thus are important to our understanding
of industrial development.
This particular example is important because since it was abandoned there
appears to have been little or no disturbance to the quarry. There are
discarded and unfinished millstones in situ, together with the remains of a
quarry-workers' shelter and working areas.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Heath, J, An Illustrated History of Derbyshire, (1993), 55-7
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 25-6

Source: Historic England

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