Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 630m north east of Stanage House

A Scheduled Monument in Eyam, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3037 / 53°18'13"N

Longitude: -1.6758 / 1°40'32"W

OS Eastings: 421701.883683

OS Northings: 378571.669661

OS Grid: SK217785

Mapcode National: GBR JZQ7.ZF

Mapcode Global: WHCCV.7785

Entry Name: Cairnfield 630m north east of Stanage House

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018482

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31235

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Eyam

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Eyam St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield located on a bluff of moorland
overlooking the Highlow Brook to the north. It is one of a group of similar
monuments providing evidence of extensive prehistoric agriculture and
settlement on Eyam Moor.
The monument comprises a series of well-preserved cairns of medium and small
stones gathered in prehistoric times as the result of land clearance. There
are approximately nine small cairns ranging from about 2.5m to 4.5m in
diameter, some of which are irregular in shape. Some of the cairns have been
slightly disturbed, others are complete. To the west of the main distribution
of cairns in this small group are two or more isolated examples which are not
included in the scheduling and are separated from it by an area of steeply-
sloping and/or potentially boggy ground. Their size and location indicates
that they were the result of a small area of extended clearance beyond the
main cairnfield. The cairnfield is interpreted as the remains of an area of
agricultural settlement and land clearance dating to the Bronze Age.

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 sited in close proximity to one
another. The often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture
and on occasions their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
Occasionally, some of the cairns were used for funerary purposes, although
without excavation it is difficult to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3,400 BC),
although the majority date from the Bronze Age (2,000-700 BC). Cairnfields can
also retain information concerning the development of land use and
agricultural practices as well as the diveristy of beliefs and social
organisation during the prehistoric period.
The small cairnfield 630m north east of Stanage House survives well and will
contribute to understanding of prehistoric activity in Eyam Moor.

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), 70-1
Barnatt, J. W., Highlow Hall and Eyam Moor ... Archaeological Survey 1994-5., 1995, unpublished survey report

Source: Historic England

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