Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 825m west of Pearson's Fold, north of Cawfell Beck

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4741 / 54°28'26"N

Longitude: -3.3837 / 3°23'1"W

OS Eastings: 310429.496814

OS Northings: 509634.074779

OS Grid: NY104096

Mapcode National: GBR 4JTP.7X

Mapcode Global: WH70N.ZSWX

Entry Name: Ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 825m west of Pearson's Fold, north of Cawfell Beck

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020339

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27828

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ennerdale and Kinniside

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria


The monument includes a prehistoric ring cairn located 200m north of Cawfell
Beck on Stockdale Moor, an expansive area of undulating unenclosed moorland
between the River Bleng and Worm Gill. It includes a sub-circular bank of
predominantly turf-covered stones measuring 12.4m by 11.4m externally and up
to 0.5m high which encloses a flat interior approximately 6.5m in diameter.
The ring cairn is one of many prehistoric monuments on Stockdale Moor which
are considered from comparisons with dated examples elsewhere to be dated
approximately to the second millenium BC.

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.

Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age
date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but
excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing
charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with
the burial rituals. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting
considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining
significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.
The ring cairn on Stockdale Moor 200m north of Cawfell Beck survives well and
forms part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric settlements,
cairnfields and field systems which extend over Town Bank and Stockdale Moor.
Together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation of
this area in prehistoric times. The cairn will contribute greatly to any
further study of prehistoric settlement patterns within the Lake District.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quartermaine, J A, Stockdale Moor Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 1-9

Source: Historic England

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