Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 970m north west of Green's House

A Scheduled Monument in Hathersage, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3577 / 53°21'27"N

Longitude: -1.6649 / 1°39'53"W

OS Eastings: 422402.214209

OS Northings: 384587.283837

OS Grid: SK224845

Mapcode National: GBR JYTM.C2

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.DVFS

Entry Name: Cairnfield 970m north west of Green's House

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018096

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31225

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hathersage

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 the remains of a prehistoric field system dated to the
Bronze Age, located on land gently shelving to the south east. In addition to
several clearance cairns, the scheduling also includes at least two short
stretches of linear clearance embankment.
The field system is located in a stone free area within which are at least
eight small cairns ranging between 2.5m and 6m in diameter. Most cairns,
especially the smaller examples, appear to survive undisturbed. One of the
cairns on the western side of the cairnfield is larger than the others,
indicating that it may have been reused for funerary purposes. It has a
diameter of approximately 7m and has been disturbed at its centre. The
evidence for stone clearance and the survival of two short lengths of linear
clearance indicate that the site was used for cultivation and divided into
field plots. One stretch of linear clearance forms a distinct lynchet,
indicating that the area to the north west was either a levelled terrace or a
build up of soil on the downslope of a field plot created by extensive
The stone cleared area extends to the south east of the cairnfield indicating
that contemporary agricultural activities extended beyond the area of
protection. About 300m to the south east are the remains of another
cairnfield, also containing clearance embankments.

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 970m south west of Green's House survives in good condition and
is associated with linear clearance banks, indicating that the area contained
a system of small field plots. As such, it is important to our understanding
of prehistoric agricultural practices.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 27
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 27

Source: Historic England

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