Ancient Monuments

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Rospow Hills prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 740m south west of High Wath Ford

A Scheduled Monument in Caldbeck, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7029 / 54°42'10"N

Longitude: -3.021 / 3°1'15"W

OS Eastings: 334303.357456

OS Northings: 534690.564395

OS Grid: NY343346

Mapcode National: GBR 7GB1.RX

Mapcode Global: WH810.K1NZ

Entry Name: Rospow Hills prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 740m south west of High Wath Ford

Scheduled Date: 20 July 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020045

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34959

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Caldbeck

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Caldbeck St Mungo

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Rospow Hills
prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 740m south west of High
Wath Ford. It is located on gently sloping fellside on the northern lower
slopes of Carrock Fell and represents Bronze Age exploitation of this
The cairnfield consists of 20 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to
0.4m high; the circular cairns measure between 3.6m to 7m in diameter while
the oval-shaped cairns measure between 7.5m to 13m long by 3.1m to 5.7m wide.
The associated field system consists of nine short lengths of stone bank, most
of which have returns, suggesting that they formed two sides of small field
plots. Amongst the stone banks in the eastern half of the monument are cairn
alignments which are interpreted as representing the line of old field
boundaries in which sporadic patches of stone clearance were piled against a
fence or hedge.
A modern bield is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it
is included.

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 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.

Rospow Hills prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 740m south
west of High Wath Ford survives well and is one of numerous well-preserved
prehistoric landscapes located within the Cumbrian uplands. In conjunction
with other prehistoric remains in the vicinity the monument represents
evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Turner, V E, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Result of Survey Work Carried Out in the Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, , Vol. LXXXVII, (1987), 19-25

Source: Historic England

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