Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric cairnfield and linear boundary on Hesk Fell 800m north of Holehouse Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Ulpha, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3348 / 54°20'5"N

Longitude: -3.2604 / 3°15'37"W

OS Eastings: 318141.857189

OS Northings: 493981.678

OS Grid: SD181939

Mapcode National: GBR 5LN9.XV

Mapcode Global: WH71H.W9LQ

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield and linear boundary on Hesk Fell 800m north of Holehouse Bridge

Scheduled Date: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021142

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35015

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 a prehistoric cairnfield and linear boundary on Hesk
Fell 800m north of Holehouse Bridge. It is located on the south facing
hillslope of Hesk Fell and represents Bronze Age exploitation of this
landscape. The cairnfield lies on sloping ground on the west side of the
col between Holehouse Gill and Crosby Gill and includes over 110 clearance
cairns up to 0.5m high measuring between 2m-6m in diameter. The linear
boundary is formed by a low stone bank or wall up to 0.3m high and 2.5m
wide aligned north east-south west. It measures approximately 140m long,
and may be the continuation of a linear boundary running through the next
field to the east. There is another short length of stone bank or wall
aligned north west-south east on the boundary's north side.

A short length of modern drystone wall on the monument's east side is
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

The prehistoric cairnfield and linear boundary on Hesk Fell 800m north of
Holehouse Bridge survives well. It forms part of a well-preserved
prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria
which together represent evidence of long term management and exploitation
of this area in prehistoric times.

Source: Historic England


Survey in LDNPA office, Lund, J, Pikeside Farm, (2002)
Survey in LDNPA office, Lund, J, Pikeside Farm, (2002)

Source: Historic England

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