Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield in Slate Pits Wood, 170m north west of Oak Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Meltham, Kirklees

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Latitude: 53.5948 / 53°35'41"N

Longitude: -1.8216 / 1°49'17"W

OS Eastings: 411905.341626

OS Northings: 410927.074491

OS Grid: SE119109

Mapcode National: GBR HVQW.F3

Mapcode Global: WHCB6.ZXR1

Entry Name: Cairnfield in Slate Pits Wood, 170m north west of Oak Cottage

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1980

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018557

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31506

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Meltham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Christ the King, Meltham

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a cairnfield in Slate Pits Wood. The cairnfield consists
of at least six cairns and a number of rubble banks. The grass-covered cairns
are between 3m and 6m in diameter and are up to 0.5m high. The rubble banks
are grass covered and are 2m-3m wide and typically 0.3m high. The banks are
concentrated in the north west corner of the wood. One of the banks in this
area is fragmentary and consists of a series of linear stone mounds.

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 in Slate Pits Wood survives well and will retain important
archaeological information. It is similar to two other cairnfields in woods in
the Honley area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lunn, N, Slate Pits Wood Meltham, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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