Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield, 320m west of Leam Hall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Grindleford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3098 / 53°18'35"N

Longitude: -1.6586 / 1°39'31"W

OS Eastings: 422842.322581

OS Northings: 379257.270726

OS Grid: SK228792

Mapcode National: GBR JZV5.Q8

Mapcode Global: WHCCV.H2DH

Entry Name: Cairnfield, 320m west of Leam Hall Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018733

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31238

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Grindleford

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
relatively well-drained shelving land. The cairnfield 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 28 cairns ranging from about 1.5m to 6m in diameter,
although several are ovoid in shape. Some of the cairns have been disturbed,
possibly by 19th-century antiquarians, but many remain complete. The
cairnfield forms part of a larger area of prehistoric agriculture on Eyam Moor
with many more cairns, linear clearance, and potential house platforms lying
to the immediate south. This monument is separated from the archaeological
remains to the south (which are the subject of separate scheduling) by a steep
slope, a small outcrop, and stony ground. The monument is interpreted as part
of an area of intense agricultural settlement dating to the Bronze Age.
All shooting butts 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 sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding land surface 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 cairnfield 320m west of Leam Hall Farm survives well and will contribute
to study of prehistoric settlement on Eyam Moor.

Source: Historic England


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 Archaeological Survey 1994-5., 1995, unpublished survey report

Source: Historic England

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