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Cairnfield 800m west of Nether Rodknoll Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Brampton, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2259 / 53°13'33"N

Longitude: -1.5576 / 1°33'27"W

OS Eastings: 429628.851312

OS Northings: 369961.099289

OS Grid: SK296699

Mapcode National: GBR 57R.P11

Mapcode Global: WHCD9.15JT

Entry Name: Cairnfield 800m west of Nether Rodknoll Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019877

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31272

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Brampton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Old Brampton Saints Peter and Paul

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument includes the remains of a Bronze Age cairnfield comprising more
than 20 cairns distributed to form a coherent group of prehistoric
agricultural clearance features.

The cairnfield occupies the backslope of a small escarpment in open moorland.
There are approximately 27 cairns in relatively stone-free ground forming an
area of clearance roughly circular in plan. The cairns range from between
1.5m to 4m in diameter, but many of them are distinctly ovoid. Although
there are no surviving traces of linear clearance, the ovoid shape of some of
the cairns indicates that they once formed part of an area of agriculture
containing enclosures, possibly bounded by hedges or fences. The absence of
extensive linear clearance remains and the irregular nature of the cairnfield
indicates that this may have been a relatively short-lived attempt at
agriculture at a comparatively high altitude. The cairnfield may be seen as
an extension to more extensive and longer-lived prehistoric settlement to the
west and north west on the same moorlands.

MAP EXTRACT
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 800m west of Nether Rodknoll Farm contains undisturbed examples
of clearance cairns and is important to our understanding of prehistoric
agricultural use of this moorland.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 90-1
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 90-1

Source: Historic England

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