Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield on Gibbet Moor west of Umberley Brook, 1.2km south west of Dalebrook House

A Scheduled Monument in Brampton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2298 / 53°13'47"N

Longitude: -1.5673 / 1°34'2"W

OS Eastings: 428979.355376

OS Northings: 370396.719053

OS Grid: SK289703

Mapcode National: GBR 57R.DL8

Mapcode Global: WHCD8.W2TS

Entry Name: Cairnfield on Gibbet Moor west of Umberley Brook, 1.2km south west of Dalebrook House

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018996

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31266

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Brampton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Baslow St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a group of cairns occupying a ridge of moorland and
forming a discrete cairnfield resulting from the clearance of land for
agriculture during the Bronze Age.

The cairnfield occupies a ridge of well drained ground to the south east of an
extensive area of Bronze Age settlement on Gibbet Moor, the subject of a
separate scheduling. The cairnfield was part of the overall pattern of
settlement and related activity across the moor, but separated from other
surviving remains by areas of boggy and stony ground. There are at least 12
cairns forming a small elongated cairnfield, of which most or all appear to
survive intact. The cairns stand in a relatively stone free area, the larger
being approximately 4m in diameter, although some are only about 2m in
diameter. Many of the cairns are ovoid in shape indicating that they once
formed part of a system of field plots possibly divided by hedges or fences.
The cairns were formed as a result of the systematic clearance of the ridge
for agriculture during the Bronze Age.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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 diversity of beliefs and social
organisation during the prehistoric period.

The cairnfield on Gibbet Moor west of Umberley Brook, 1.2km south west of
Dalebrook House, survives well and provides an insight into Bronze Age
agricultural use of this moorland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 79-80

Source: Historic England

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