Maiden Castle cairn field, Swaledale

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Cairn fields were created during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages when land was being taken into cultivation for the first time. The naturally stony soils of the Dales uplands had to be laboriously dug over by hand and the larger stones removed before crops could be grown. The stones were collected up and piled into cairns dotted about the fields. One of the more extensive groups of prehistoric cairns can be seen within a series of co-axial boundaries in the unenclosed heather moorland east of Maiden Castle.


White, Robert (2002) The Yorkshire Dales. A Landscape Through Time. Ilkley: Great Northern Books


From Grinton, take narrow road to west signed 'Harkerside'. After 2 miles, take public bridleway on left signed to 'Castle Bolton via Whitaside 6 ML'. Site is 200 metres along bridleway on right hand side.

Public Transport Details

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


Bridleway is well-made but rough and uneven in places.