Pikedaw Hill cairn

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Pikedaw Hill cairn MYD3799 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Pikedaw Hill cairn MYD3799 (c) YDNPA, 2023

This cairn is in a magnificent position at the head of Malhamdale, overlooking the lowlands of Craven. Like the cairn on Sheriff Hill above Malham Cove, it is situated on the edge of the great plateau which lies behind Malham. Built on top of a natural limestone knoll, the turf covered mound is approximately 15 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high, surmounted by a tall narrow modern walkers cairn.

Partial excavation of the site revealed a burial accompanied by an iron spearhead, which means that the cairn was definitely in use during the Iron Age. Whether it was initially constructed earlier than this is not known, but it is common for large burial cairns like this one to have their origins in the Bronze Age and attract other burials and depositions later on. On the west side of the cairn a natural band of limestone pavement runs up to the knoll on which the cairn is situated, and this appears to have been enhanced by the addition of stones, giving the effect of a low bank. The cairn is a Scheduled Monument, and protected by law. It is an offence to disturb the site.

View of Pikedaw Hill cairn MYD3799 (c) YDNPA, 2023

View of Pikedaw Hill cairn MYD3799 (c) YDNPA, 2023


A Raistrick Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1938, p.128


Take the road from Malham up past the Cove. After a mile there is a public bridleway to Settle through a gate on the left. Follow the bridleway up the hill and through the first field to Fair Sleets Gate. The cairn is visible on the skyline of the ridge to your left, with a modern walkers cairn built on top.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Malham. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


A steep climb up from Malham. The bridleway can be slippy and muddy in places.