Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 710m and 840m south east of Ladybower Inn

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3691 / 53°22'8"N

Longitude: -1.6902 / 1°41'24"W

OS Eastings: 420711.6733

OS Northings: 385847.4369

OS Grid: SK207858

Mapcode National: GBR JYMG.WZ

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.0LF1

Entry Name: Cairnfield 710m and 840m south east of Ladybower Inn

Scheduled Date: 21 August 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018215

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29834

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 the remains of a prehistoric cairnfield, dated to the
Bronze Age. The cairnfield overlooks the upper Derwent valley to the west and
occupies two spurs of land separated by a small, but relatively steep,
escarpment. It is therefore in two separate areas of protection. However, the
two areas are interpreted as part of a single field system.
The western area of the cairnfield consists of a stone-free area within which
are at least seven small cairns ranging between 2m and 5m in diameter. The
evidence for stone clearance and the survival of a short length of linear
clearance indicates that the site was used for cultivation and may have been
divided into field plots. One of the cairns is unusual, being rectangular and
having a kerb of gritstone slabs. Most of the cairns appear to be undisturbed.
The eastern area of the cairnfield occupies a slightly higher elevation. It
contains at least four small cairns in a stone-cleared area within which are
linear arrangements of boulders, which may be the remains of linear clearance
banks. The cairns are between 2m and 5m in diameter. At the southern edge of
the cleared area is another scatter of boulders where large stones appear to
have been rolled out of the cultivation area.
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 cairnfield 710m and 840m south east of Ladybower Inn survives in good
condition and is important to our understanding of prehistoric agricultural

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), 24-5

Source: Historic England

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