Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stone circle, 960m north east of High Lees Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3572 / 53°21'25"N

Longitude: -1.6692 / 1°40'9"W

OS Eastings: 422110.557739

OS Northings: 384532.909392

OS Grid: SK221845

Mapcode National: GBR JYSM.D7

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.BWC5

Entry Name: Stone circle, 960m north east of High Lees Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018094

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31223

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bamford

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hathersage St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a small embanked stone circle standing on a small bluff
on gently shelving ground to the south east. The stone circle is in a good
state of preservation and most of its original orthostats (upright boulders)
appear to be still in place.
The slightly ovoid circle has an external diameter of 11m by 10m and consists
of a continuous earthen embankment between 1.5m and 2m wide and standing about
0.35m high. Around the internal edge of the embankment are six orthostats
ranging between 0.4m and 0.65m in height. They form a ring of stones 8m by 7m
in diameter. The centre of the circle is uneven with no evidence of a central
cairn as in some examples elsewhere in the local region.
The circle stands on a slight bluff on land facing south east, overlooking two
cairnfields in that direction and the edge of another to the south west. The
monument occupies a platform cut into the sloping ground of the bluff to
create a near level interior. There is evidence of a drystone wall built to
retain earth on the south western side of the circle. Large slabs of stone on
the north east are likely to be the remains of a kerb or retaining wall.

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

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating
out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close
to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout
England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular
clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the
Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may
be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern.
Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the
Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully
designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the
heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully
understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but
it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies
that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided
a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead.
Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the
passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of
stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at
midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles
throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some
form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone
circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a
diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England
although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the
Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or
so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of

The small stone circle 960m north east of High Lees Farm is in particularly
good condition with its original stone setting complete. It is also important
to our understanding of the prehistoric architecture of ceremonial monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 47-8
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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