Ancient Monuments

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Ring cairn 310m north of Woodhead on Harden Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Harden, Bradford

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Latitude: 53.8443 / 53°50'39"N

Longitude: -1.8876 / 1°53'15"W

OS Eastings: 407489.543341

OS Northings: 438675.168341

OS Grid: SE074386

Mapcode National: GBR HR8Z.4P

Mapcode Global: WHB7W.ZM9S

Entry Name: Ring cairn 310m north of Woodhead on Harden Moor

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018237

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31487

County: Bradford

Civil Parish: Harden

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Harden

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a ring cairn, situated on Harden Moor, on level ground
310m north of Woodhead.
The cairn is about 13m in overall diameter. It consists of a circular
heather-covered bank approximately 2.5m wide and attaining a maximum height
of 0.4m. There are orthostats forming a kerb on the inside edge of the bank,
and a possible outer kerb is formed by well-embedded recumbent stones,
about 0.5m across. These stones are most visible on the east side. On the west
side a short stretch of bank has been disturbed and there are two earth mounds
protruding 5m from the inner kerb. These may relate to an excavation in 1959
which recovered prehistoric pottery. A small hole 0.5m wide near the centre of
the cairn may also relate to this excavation.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn 310m north of Woodhead survives well and retains important
archaeological information. It is one of a group of cairns on Harden Moor.

Source: Historic England


Ring barrow, Harden Moor, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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