Register of ancient monuments
Reference number 1018234
Enclosed Bronze Age Urnfield
DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT
The monument includes a Bronze Age urnfield and its enclosing bank. It is situated on the edge of a natural terrace 440m north west of Rough Bottom on Midgley Moor.
The bank is subcircular, approximately 41m in diameter, 7m wide and 0.5m high. There are traces of an internal ditch, and a small earth mound near the centre of the ring. This mound was excavated in 1933 and produced half a quern. Previous excavations in 1897 had produced burnt human bone and fragments of prehistoric pottery.
A fence which crosses the southern edge of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.
ASSESSMENT OF IMPORTANCE
An enclosed Bronze Age urnfield is a burial ground in which cremations, usually placed in cinerary urns, were interred within a circular enclosure up to 30m in diameter. This was formed by either a ditch, a bank, or a bank within a stone circle. There was normally an entrance or causeway allowing access into the enclosure, where a central mound or standing stone is sometimes found. Excavated examples are known to date to the Middle Bronze Age between the 16th and 11th centuries BC. Enclosed Bronze Age urnfields are largely found in the north of England, mainly in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland, although their distribution also extends into Scotland. They are a rare type of Bronze Age burial monument, with fewer than 50 identified examples and provide an important insight into beliefs and social organisation during this period. All positively identified examples are considered to be nationally important.
The enclosed bronze Age urnfield 440m north west of Rough Bottom on Midgley Moor survives well, despite a small amount of disturbance by past excavations. It will retain cremation burials and other archaeological information. It is one of several such sites in the Calderdale area.