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Ring cairn and cairn 750m north west of Bumper Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Rowsley, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1896 / 53°11'22"N

Longitude: -1.586 / 1°35'9"W

OS Eastings: 427762.048351

OS Northings: 365914.163269

OS Grid: SK277659

Mapcode National: GBR 589.1VJ

Mapcode Global: WHCDG.L3Z3

Entry Name: Ring cairn and cairn 750m north west of Bumper Castle

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019294

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31273

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Rowsley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Rowsley St Katherine

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn standing in open moorland,
together with an adjacent small cairn.
The ring cairn comprises a pennanular bank of stones and turf which measures
8m by 9m externally and 6m by 5m internally. The bank stands approximately
0.3m to 0.4m high. The interior of the ring cairn is level and there are no
central features visible above ground. Although the ring cairn has been
slightly damaged on one side by a disused hollow way, it is otherwise in good
condition. The monument stands close to the edge of an escarpment from which
there are extensive views across the Derwent valley and towards other
prehistoric features on the surrounding hilltops.
Approximately 35m north east of the ring cairn stands a low cairn. It measures
about 2m in diameter, although more of the structure may lie buried below
ground. The cairn is likely to have been constructed for funerary purposes,
given its isolated position and its close proximity to the ring cairn.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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.

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as
well. They are found mainly in upland areas of England and sometimes occur in
pairs or small groups. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries.
Ring cairns date from the Early or Middle Bronze Age. The exact nature of the
rituals concerned is not fully understood but excavation has revealed pits,
some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to
indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. As a
relatively rare class of monument, all positively identified examples are
considered worthy of protection.
Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials were placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a
major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in
form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the
diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities.
The ring cairn and cairn 750m north west of Bumper Castle are important as two
associated and contemporary monument types surviving in good condition and in
close proximity to each other.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 181
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 181

Source: Historic England

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