Ancient Monuments

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Bronze Age field system, 400m south east of Ladybower Inn

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.373 / 53°22'22"N

Longitude: -1.6892 / 1°41'21"W

OS Eastings: 420772.153334

OS Northings: 386278.054458

OS Grid: SK207862

Mapcode National: GBR JYNF.2L

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.0HW2

Entry Name: Bronze Age field system, 400m south east of Ladybower Inn

Scheduled Date: 21 August 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018214

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29833

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 cairnfield and linear clearance banks situated within
a stone-cleared area. Together they form the remains of a prehistoric field
system, dating to the Bronze Age. The cairnfield is located on two adjacent
shelves of land between which is a small but relatively steep escarpment,
dividing it into two main areas. Both shelves face north west and overlook
the upper Derwent valley. Although divided into two areas, the remains are
interpreted as those of a single field system.
The north western part of the field system contains a stone-free area bounded
by stretches of linear clearance banks and six or more small cairns. The
presence of linear clearance banks indicates that the area was likely to have
been divided into field plots and used, at least in part, for cultivation. The
field banks were probably created from debris thrown against hedges or fences
which no longer survive. At the south western end of the field system are
low, irregular, field banks containing orthostats (upright boulders). These
are unlikely to be contemporary with the prehistoric field system, but created
through partial reuse of the site during the Romano-British period. The
remains of a settlement dating to this period stand a short distance to the
On the south eastern, higher shelf of land there are about six cairns of
varying size and a single stretch of linear clearance. The largest cairn
measures approximately 6m in diameter and has been disturbed at its centre.
The cairns adjoin a stone-free area, indicating that these are also clearance
cairns, although one or more of the larger cairns may have been used
subsequently for funerary purposes.
All modern drystone walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath is included.

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 field system 400m south east of Ladybower Inn 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.

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), 23-4
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 23-4

Source: Historic England

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