Register of ancient monuments
Reference number 1018254
Enclosed Bronze Age Urnfield
Hey Head Lane
DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT
The monument includes an enclosed Bronze Age urnfield. It is situated on Todmorden Golf Course 200m north west of Hanging Field Farm.
The urnfield is approximately 37m in diameter and has a low, subcircular, enclosing bank. This bank is about 7m wide and up to 0.5m high, and is visibly crossed by medieval ridge and furrow running approximately north-south. The bank survives best on the east side; on the north side it is only present as a slight rise.
The interior of the urnfield was excavated in 1897 and produced four cinerary urns containing human bone, beads, a bronze knife, and flint tools.
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 200m north west of Hanging Field Farm survives reasonably well, despite disturbance by past excavations and will retain further cremation burials and other archaeological information. It is one of several such sites in the Calderdale area.