Keys to the Past

Birkside Fell flint scatter and ring cairn (Blanchland)

A Mesolithic flint scatter and a Bronze Age ring cairn were discovered by archaeologists in the 1990s on Birkside Fell. More than 40 flints lay on the ground surface where some erosion had taken place. The later cairn survived as a stone platform with a boundary marker on top. When the site was excavated in 1996 and 1997 a series of test pits dug across the area showed that the original place where erosion had exposed the flints was the main focus of prehistoric activity. This area measured 6m by 12m and over 400 stone artifacts and over 900 stone chips and spalls were found. Excavation of the ring cairn showed it had a kerb of large boulders around the outside. Inside the cairn, which measured about 4m in diameter, there was a large collared urn buried in a pit. Inside the pit was cremated bone from an adult male and some fragments of a second adult skull, as well as a flint knife.

Reference number:N8400
Historical period: Bronze Age (2600BC to 700BC)
Mesolithic (10000BC to 4000BC)
Event(s):EXCAVATION, Birkside Fell cairn 1997; C Tolan-Smith

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Blanchland


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.