Register of ancient monuments

Reference number 1018559

Ring Cairn Known As The Ring Of Stones
Heys Lane
Sowerby Bridge


The monument includes a ring cairn located in improved pasture on Ringstone Edge Moor, Barkisland. The ring cairn survives as a low circular stony bank, approximately 28m in total diameter. The bank is typically 4m wide and 0.1m high.


A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. 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. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. 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.

Although the ring cairn known as the Ring of Stones has been damaged by recent ploughing, it will retain important archaeological information, including evidence of its relationship to other cairns in the Ringstone Edge area.

Last Updated: 07/10/2004