Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and field system 560m east of Park Gate Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Baslow and Bubnell, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2363 / 53°14'10"N

Longitude: -1.587 / 1°35'13"W

OS Eastings: 427663.096075

OS Northings: 371104.335922

OS Grid: SK276711

Mapcode National: GBR 57Q.1M9

Mapcode Global: WHCD2.LXHD

Entry Name: Cairnfield and field system 560m east of Park Gate Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018999

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31269

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Baslow and Bubnell

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 prehistoric cairns occupying a field
enclosure on the western edge of Gibbet Moor. The cairns are associated with
short lengths of linear clearance and are interpreted as Bronze Age
cultivation features.
To the east of the cairnfield and linear clearance is an extensive area of
open moorland containing much evidence for Bronze Age settlement, which is the
subject of a separate scheduling. The cairnfield and linear clearance were
once part of the overall settlement complex but are now separated from the
other remains by recent enclosure and improvement of the land.
There are approximately 20 surviving cairns standing within the northern
part of the field enclosure forming a discrete cairnfield. They are of
various sizes with most being in the order of 2m-3m in diameter. Within the
cairnfield are short stretches of linear clearance indicating that the area
was once divided into field plots used for cultivation. Such division was
likely to have been by hedges or fences with stone debris being placed or
thrown against them, forming the features visible today. Some of the cairns
are elongated where they, too, were likely to have been along the line of
field divisions.
All modern drystone walls, gates and fences are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

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.
Linear field systems date from the Bronze Age to the fifth century AD. They
usually comprise a discrete block of fields oriented in roughly the same
direction. Individual fields can be square, rectangular, long and narrow,
triangular or polygonal in shape. The development of field systems is seen as
a response to the competition for land which began during the later
prehistoric period. The majority are thought to have been used mainly for
crop production. They represent a coherent economic unit often utilised for
long periods of time and can thus provide important information about
developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and broader
patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several centuries.
Those which survive well and can be linked to associated settlements are
considered worthy of protection.
The cairnfield and field system 560m east of Park Gate Farm survives
reasonably well and provides an insight into Bronze Age agricultural use of
Gibbet Moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998)
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 53-5
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, (1986), 53-5

Source: Historic England

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