Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and house platform 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Beeley, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2039 / 53°12'14"N

Longitude: -1.5405 / 1°32'25"W

OS Eastings: 430790.465035

OS Northings: 367524.02746

OS Grid: SK307675

Mapcode National: GBR 69H.1CR

Mapcode Global: WHCD9.9QPP

Entry Name: Cairnfield and house platform 400m south west of Harewood Grange Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 October 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020305

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31305

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Beeley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Beeley St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a small cairnfield, house platform and fragments of
linear clearance debris providing evidence for prehistoric agriculture and

The complex is situated on fairly level ground approximately 100m south of the
stream known as Millstone Sick. The cairnfield comprises five small cairns
that are regularly spaced over an area measuring 50m by 30m. The two largest
cairns are situated on the northern side of the cairnfield, both measure 4m
across and stand 0.3m high. The northernmost of these two cairns has a slight
disturbance at its centre, indicating that it has been dug into. Of the
smaller cairns, the westernmost measures 3m across and stands 0.2m high, and
the easternmost 1.5m across and 0.2m high. The most southerly cairn is less
clearly defined, measuring approximately 2m by 3m and standing 0.2m high. In
addition to the cairnfield the monument includes a bank of clearance debris
located some 40m north east of the centre of the cairnfield. The bank measures
18m in length and 2m across and undulates slightly along its length. A further
fragment of clearance debris measuring 4m in length exists within the western
extent of the cairnfield. The cairns and clearance banks are believed to have
been constructed as part of the process of improving the land surface for
agriculture, although such features also frequently prove to be funerary in
nature. The presence of linear clearance debris is a strong indicator that the
complex was divided into field plots, banks being formed by debris from the
fields being placed along enclosure fences or hedges. A level platform
measuring 4m by 6m is situated directly to the south of the eastern end of the
large rubble bank. The platform is slightly eliptical in shape and is
interpreted as the stand for a circular timber house.

The cairnfield, clearance debris and house platform are indicative of the
settlement, agricultural and ceremonial use of this area during the Bronze

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 as 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
gathered from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture
and, on occasion, their distribution pattern can be seen to define field
plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although
without excavation it is impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC),
although the majority of examples date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). 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. They also provide information on the diversity of
beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

House platforms are one of several known types of settlement site dating from
the Neolithic to the Romano-British periods (from c.3000 BC to c.AD 400).
Individual house platforms may be dated by excavation or by their association
with other monuments of known date. They consist of levelled stances,
variously circular, ovoid or sub-rectangular in shape, on which rectangular or
circular buildings were constructed. The timber uprights forming the frames
of the buildings have not survived, but excavations have revealed their
post-holes and associated domestic debris. Where they occur in stony areas,
rubble cleared from the platforms may be simply pushed to the edges of each
stance or aggregated to form a rough wall. House platforms may occur singly
or in groups, and in the open or enclosed by a boulder and rubble wall.

The cairnfield, house platform and associated features 400m south west of
Harewood Grange Farm survive in good condition and will contain undisturbed
archaeological remains. They are particularly important in association with
each other, forming a complex of contemporary features that provides valuable
information on the Bronze Age settlement of this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 155
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #41
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), #15

Source: Historic England

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