Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn on Bamford Moor, 680m north of High Lees Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3563 / 53°21'22"N

Longitude: -1.678 / 1°40'40"W

OS Eastings: 421531.240664

OS Northings: 384423.744984

OS Grid: SK215844

Mapcode National: GBR JYQM.JL

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.6W7W

Entry Name: Cairn on Bamford Moor, 680m north of High Lees Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018091

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29839

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 prehistoric cairn located on shelving land facing
north eastwards. Although slightly disturbed, the cairn is otherwise a
well-preserved example and displays complex structural features. It stands
in a relatively isolated position but overlooks evidence for prehistoric
settlement on the Bamford moors, dating to the Bronze Age.
The cairn measures 10m by 9m and stands approximately 0.75m high. There is a
small central disturbance suggesting an unrecorded excavation of the mound but
otherwise the structure still survives intact, indicating that much
undisturbed material is likely to remain, both within the cairn and below
ground, including human burial remains. Exposed at one side of the cairn are
three upright stones forming part of a carefully arranged kerb of gritstones
around the base of the cairn.
The structure is large in comparison with other cairns on the surrounding
moorlands and this, together with its relatively isolated location, indicates
that its function was ceremonial.

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.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.
2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials which were often placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a
major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common
feature in the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round
barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity
as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs
and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities.
The cairn 680m north of High Lees Farm is important because it is an almost
complete example with little disturbance. It is also of structural complexity
and the potential for the survival of buried remains is high.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986)
Barnatt, J W, Peak District Barrow Survey, 1989, unpublished survey

Source: Historic England

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