Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield 730m south east of Burntshield Haugh

A Scheduled Monument in Hexhamshire, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.8688 / 54°52'7"N

Longitude: -2.1091 / 2°6'32"W

OS Eastings: 393093.434262

OS Northings: 552670.335584

OS Grid: NY930526

Mapcode National: GBR FDQ4.5G

Mapcode Global: WHB2R.KWWD

Entry Name: Cairnfield 730m south east of Burntshield Haugh

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018530

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28581

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hexhamshire

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Blanchland with Hunstanworth

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a cairnfield of prehistoric date,
situated on gently sloping ground on the western edge of Burntshieldhaugh
Fell, overlooking the valley of Devil's Water to the south. The cairnfield is
associated with two prehistoric settlements and field systems on
Burntshieldhaugh Fell which are the subject of separate schedulings. The
cairnfield is visible as the remains of at least ten circular cairns of stone
and earth construction. The cairns vary between 2m to 3.5m in diameter and
stand to a maximum height of 0.3m.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC),
although the majority of 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. Cairnfields also retain
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the
prehistoric period.

The cairnfield 730m south east of Burntshield Haugh is reasonably well
preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. Cairnfields are not
a common feature of this part of the North Pennines and taken together with
the associated prehistoric settlements and field systems, the monument will
contribute to our knowledge and understanding of prehistoric settlement and
agriculture in the region.

Source: Historic England


NY95SW 28,

Source: Historic England

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