Ancient Monuments

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Rough Crag prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 600m ENE of Woodend Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Ulpha, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3573 / 54°21'26"N

Longitude: -3.2564 / 3°15'23"W

OS Eastings: 318443.717365

OS Northings: 496478.95662

OS Grid: SD184964

Mapcode National: GBR 5LP1.SS

Mapcode Global: WH719.YQGZ

Entry Name: Rough Crag prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 600m ENE of Woodend Bridge

Scheduled Date: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020202

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34967

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ulpha

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Broughton-in-Furness St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes Rough Crag prehistoric cairnfield and associated
field system 600m ENE of Woodend Bridge. It is located on two natural terraces
on the steeply sloping west-facing slope of Rough Crag and represents Bronze
Age exploitation of this landscape.
The cairnfield includes 13 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to
0.8m high. The circular cairns measure between 1.9m and 4m in diameter while
the oval-shaped cairns measure between 2.9m and 8.5m long by 1.6m and 6.6m
The associated field system consists of a small rectangular stone-walled
enclosure at the northern end of the monument. This enclosure uses the base of
a crag as its eastern wall. A short distance to the south of the enclosure
there is a low stone wall running approximately parallel with and close to the
base of the crag for about 25m; faint traces of returns at either end of the
wall suggest that this feature was also an enclosure.

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.

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 landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and on occassion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
They were constructed from the Neolithic period (from about 3400 BC) although
the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which
began during the Bronze Age (2000-700BC). The considerable longevity and
variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide
important information on the development of land use and agricultural
practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and
social organisation during the prehistoric period.
Rough Crag prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 600m ENE of
Woodend Bridge survives well and forms part of a well-preserved prehistoric
landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. In conjunction
with a wide range of other prehistoric 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 H, Ulpha Fell Survey Catalogue, (1983)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 74-83
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 74-85

Source: Historic England

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