Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield 650m north west of Bumper Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Northwood and Tinkersley, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.186 / 53°11'9"N

Longitude: -1.5898 / 1°35'23"W

OS Eastings: 427504.754467

OS Northings: 365507.687861

OS Grid: SK275655

Mapcode National: GBR 589.6VQ

Mapcode Global: WHCDG.K54X

Entry Name: Cairnfield 650m north west of Bumper Castle

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020414

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31310

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Northwood and Tinkersley

Built-Up Area: Darley Dale

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Rowsley St Katherine

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a cairnfield of Bronze Age date situated within an
enclosed area of gritstone moorland. The monument provides evidence for
prehistoric agriculture and settlement.

The monument is situated on fairly level ground a short distance to the west
of a minor rock outcrop on Little Bumper Piece. The cairnfield comprises 15
small gritstone mounds or cairns, and a small lynchet measuring approximately
17m in length. The cairns comprise complete examples each measuring between
1m and 2m in diameter and standing up to 0.3m in height. The cairns represent
the clearance of the land surface for agriculture. A number of the cairns are
ovoid in plan and may have been incorporated within linear enclosures that
defined cultivation plots. The north west limit of the cairnfield is marked by
a long straight lynchet that is thought to represent a post-medieval boundary.
The ground to the north west of the lynchet has been cleared and ploughed and
it is likely that the cairnfield originally extended into this area.

The monument is associated with contemporary agricultural and ceremonial
remains that are widespread upon the surrounding moorlands. A ring cairn is
located some 400m to the NNE and is the subject of a separate scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 land surface to improve its use for agriculture.
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 BC). The considerable
longevity and variation in size, content and associations of cairnfields
provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural
practises. They also provide important information on the diversity of
beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

The cairnfield 650m north west of Bumper Castle survives in good condition
with no indications of disturbance. The cairns will contain undisturbed
archaeological remains providing important information on the prehistoric
settlement of the surrounding moorlands. The cairnfield may also retain
information relating to funerary practises.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998)
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998), 182-183
Barnatt, J W, The Chatsworth Estate Historic Landscape Survey (Moorlands), (1998)
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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