Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 600m NNE of High Lees Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3553 / 53°21'19"N

Longitude: -1.6747 / 1°40'28"W

OS Eastings: 421750.048703

OS Northings: 384322.389876

OS Grid: SK217843

Mapcode National: GBR JYRM.7X

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.7XSL

Entry Name: Cairnfield 600m NNE of High Lees Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018092

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29840

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bamford

Built-Up Area: 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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a prehistoric cairnfield, dated to the
Bronze Age. The cairnfield occupies a spur of land overlooking the upper
Derwent valley to the south west and is interpreted as the remains of
clearance for prehistoric agriculture and settlement.
The cairnfield consists of a stone-free area within which are approximately
six small cairns ranging between 2.5m and 4m in diameter. The evidence for
stone clearance and the survival of two possible short lengths of linear
clearance indicates that the site was used for cultivation and may have been
divided into field plots. In addition to the small clearance cairns, there
is a large cairn that may have been used for funerary purposes. It has a
diameter of between 5m and 7m and stands in a prominent position overlooking
the valley to the south and south east. Most of the cairns appear to survive
undisturbed.

MAP EXTRACT
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 600m NNE of High Lees Farm survives well and, together with
fragments of linear clearance embankments, the monument is important to our
understanding of prehistoric agricultural practices.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 26-7

Source: Historic England

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