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Viewing swaag.org website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 151
 Date Entered 05/03/2011
 Updated on 05/03/2011
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Ring Cairns
 Record Type Archaeology
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 01/01/2005
 Location Harkerside Moor. Harker Mires
 Civil Parish Grinton
 Brit. National Grid 
 Altitude 340m
 Geology Shales and strata of the Middle Limestone Series. This ring cairn is located on a lateral moraine overlooking a shallow mire.
 Record Name The Harker Mires Ring Cairn.
 Record Description This prominent and largely undisturbed Ring Cairn (alias: enclosed cremation cemetery or embanked stone circle), comprises a (relatively) massive stone rubble bank 2.5-3.0m wide revetted on both internal and external faces with occasional large orthostats, some fallen, some standing � which encloses a subcircular area approximately 12m diameter. An entrance 3.0m wide is evident on the eastern perimeter. See 1:100 detail survey plan. This is the best preserved and most convincing ring cairn of the eastern Dales. Note! This fine Ring Cairn,which can also be described as an Embanked Stone Circle or as an Enclosed Cremation Cemetary is located to relate to its immediate situation overlooking the settlement area around Harker Mires. The River Swale and the lower Dale Sides are not visible and the ring cairn does not relate to the lower elevations of Swaledale.
 Dimensions See site plan
 Additional Notes This site (see 1:100 plan) is centrally located within a co-axial field system (GRI 47. 3113) and cairnfield, (GRI 11. 2650, GRI 50. 3112), see 1:2000 survey plan. There are circular cairns in the vicinity including a small ring cairn (GRI 61. 3133) which may also be burial monuments, not just clearance. A substantial burnt mound (GRI10.2649) is located some 200m to the SSW and may be contemporary with the cairn field. The coaxial field boundaries icorporate at least one cairn and is therefore later, but probably not much later, in date. The importance of this site is that, uniquely for this class of monument, it has NOT been excavated. Other, much smaller ring cairns, which may be the perimeter of reduced cairns, are located on Fremington Edge, Marrick Moor and on Skelton Moor. The larger, 10-20m diameter slight ring banks previously recorded as ring cairns are more probably round house enclosures. It is very possible that this ring cairn was originally a round house, being converted to an enclosed cremation cemetery on abandonment. The best analogy for this site is that on Danby Rigg, NYM. Dated to 1745-1675 Cal. B.C. (Harding A.F. et al 1994.) Other parallels are offered by the more numerous examples of Craven. Ring cairns have proved to be multi period and to have several episodes of construction, that at Oddendale, near Shap in Cumbria (Turnbull and Walsh 1997) commenced use at around 2800Cal BC as a double concentric ring of large timber posts,this being changed to a low slight ring bank at a date after around 1800BCapproximately 1000years later. References Atkinson, J.C. 1891. Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. London. Macmillan. Laurie, T.C. in Spratt, D and Burgess, C. 1985. Upland Settlement in Britain. BAR British Series 143, 135-162. Harding A.F. with Ostoja-Zagorski Archaeol. J. (1994),16-97. Turnbull, P and Walsh, D 1997. A Prehistoric Ritual Sequence at Oddendale, Near Shap. Trans C& W A7 A Soc. VolXCVll, p11-44.
 Image 1 ID 256         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description The Harker Mires Ring Cairn or Embanked Stone Circle.
 Image 2 ID 257         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description The Harker Mires ring cairn.
 Image 3 ID 393         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description The harker Mires ring cairn
 Image 4 ID 255         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description The Harker Mires Ring Cairn. Site Plan. SWALB Interim Rpt 1989.
 Image 5 ID 254         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description The Harker Mires Ring Cairn. Site Plan. T.C.Laurie 1985.
 Image 6 ID 260         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description Detail of one of the Standing Stones locted on the inner face of the stone rubble enclosing bank, southern quadrant
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