Slate Pits Wood, Meltham

This page is a bare-bones entry for a location which appears on an historic Ordnance Survey map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • appears on maps: 1854 [#256]
  • location on map: Meltham
  • status: still exists
  • category: wood

A cairnfield is situated in the now detached section of Slate Pit Wood at the junction of Wood Nook Lane and Known Lane/Meltham Lane.

Historic England Listing

  • scheduled monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • first listed: 10 October 1980
  • listing entry number 1018557

The cairnfield in Slate Pits Wood survives well and will retain important archaeological information. It is similar to two other cairnfields in woods in the Honley area. Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.