Ancient Monuments

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A bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, 750m east of Aldro Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Birdsall, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.0548 / 54°3'17"N

Longitude: -0.7545 / 0°45'16"W

OS Eastings: 481632.468067

OS Northings: 462811.922531

OS Grid: SE816628

Mapcode National: GBR RP5K.G6

Mapcode Global: WHFBW.CBYV

Entry Name: A bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, 750m east of Aldro Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 January 1931

Last Amended: 27 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20481

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Birdsall

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: West Buckrose

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the crest of Birdsall Wold,
near the head of Vessey Pasture Dale. The barrow is one of a number of
prehistoric monuments on Birdsall Wold.
Although altered over the years by agricultural activity, the barrow still
survives to a height of about 0.5m, with a diameter of 30m and the circular
outline of a 20m diameter buried ditch surrounding the mound is visible on
aerial photographs. The ditch will have been dug to provide material for the
construction of the mound and, since then, agricultural activity has caused
the edges of the mound to spread gradually over the top of the ditch.
The barrow was recorded and partially excavated by J R Mortimer in 1866 who
recovered the contents of a central grave; any burials at the periphery of the
mound and the infilled ditch are thought to remain intact.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.

Although the barrow has been partially altered by agricultural activity, it is
still clearly visible and was comparatively well documented during a campaign
of fieldwork in the 19th century.
The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows which have
further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks on Birdsall
Wold. Similar groups of monuments are also known from other parts of the Wolds
and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such associations between
monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for
social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different geographical areas
during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)
Other
Stoetz, K., RCHME Survey,

Source: Historic England

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