Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield on The Howe, Danby Low Moor, 330m north west of Howe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Danby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4616 / 54°27'41"N

Longitude: -0.9326 / 0°55'57"W

OS Eastings: 469291.684164

OS Northings: 507885.384781

OS Grid: NZ692078

Mapcode National: GBR PJXV.XD

Mapcode Global: WHF8V.N34Z

Entry Name: Cairnfield on The Howe, Danby Low Moor, 330m north west of Howe Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018844

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32614

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Danby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Danby with Castleton and Commondale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a small cairnfield
located on the northern side of a low hill known as The Howe, which forms a
detached part of Danby Low Moor just to the south east of Castleton.
The cairnfield includes a scatter of six cairns to the north and north east of
a rectangular drystone walled enclosure on top of the hill. The largest cairn
lies about 90m to the north of the enclosure. It is oval, 7m by 9m and up to
1.1m high and orientated so that its shortest axis runs down the slope of the
hillside to the north. A pair of cairns lie just over 30m to the south. The
easternmost of the pair is irregular in form, 8m in diameter and up to 1m
high, with the second cairn 4m in diameter and 0.3m high. Another irregular
cairn lies about 50m to the east, 55m from the north eastern corner of the
enclosure, and is up to 8m across and 0.7m high. The last two cairns in the
group lie closer to the enclosure, 35m north east and 15m NNW of the north
eastern corner. Both are low irregular mounds up to 0.3m high and between 5m
and 7m across.

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

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 to the south east of Castleton parish church is unusual because
it is a rare survival of a cairnfield on relatively low lying land. The cairns
will overlie buried soil horizons which will include information about the
surrounding environment in the Bronze Age. Because of its position, this will
give indications about the land use in the Dales which is not available from
the more common cairnfields on higher ground.

Source: Historic England

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