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Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 800m north west and 800m north of Woodend Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Eskdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3623 / 54°21'44"N

Longitude: -3.2686 / 3°16'6"W

OS Eastings: 317664.221871

OS Northings: 497049.778591

OS Grid: SD176970

Mapcode National: GBR 5LM0.40

Mapcode Global: WH719.RMQ4

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 800m north west and 800m north of Woodend Bridge

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019557

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32884

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Eskdale

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Eskdale St Catherine

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system
800m north west and 800m north of Woodend Bridge. It is located along the
eastern slopes of The Seat and extends both east and west of the Ulpha-Eskdale
minor road. The monument represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape
and is sub-divided into two separate areas of protection.
The prehistoric cairnfield is centred at approximately SD17659705 and consists
of over 100 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to 0.8m high. The
circular cairns measure between 1.8m to 5.5m in diameter while the oval-shaped
cairns measure between 5.3m to 11m long by 1.8m to 3.8m wide. A field system
associated with the cairnfield consists of a curvilinear enclosure situated to
the west of the Ulpha-Eskdale road and centred at approximately SD17559698.
The enclosure has entrances on the south side and at the south east corner,
and contains a small number of clearance cairns and a short length of
curvilinear wall considered to be the fragmentary remains of a smaller
enclosure. To the east of the road the field system includes five short
lengths of stone wall or bank together with two longer lengths of wall; one
curvilinear and not dissimilar to the enclosure west of the road with a gap or
possible entrance on its northern side, the other straight and bisecting the
curvilinear wall by running through the gap or entrance. Elsewhere within the
cairnfield a number of cairn-free areas may indicate the site of former

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much
of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys
between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have
become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells
there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive
areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post-
medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological
remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human
activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity
accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes
some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in
England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles
and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a
detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional
importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the
remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of
changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national
context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most
prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as
nationally important.

Despite being crossed by a modern road, the prehistoric cairnfield
and associated field system 800m north west and 800m north of Woodend Bridge
survives reasonably well and forms part of a large area of well-preserved
prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. In
conjunction with a wide range of other contemporaneous remains in the vicinity
the monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of
this area in prehistoric times.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 60-73
Leech, R, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Settlement And Groups Of Small Cairns On Birkby And Birker Fells, , Vol. LXXXIII, (1983), 15-23

Source: Historic England

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