Ancient Monuments

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Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow and part of a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, north-west of Brown Moor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Birdsall, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0519 / 54°3'6"N

Longitude: -0.7694 / 0°46'9"W

OS Eastings: 480662.581118

OS Northings: 462471.321731

OS Grid: SE806624

Mapcode National: GBR RP2L.78

Mapcode Global: WHFBW.4FW2

Entry Name: Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow and part of a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, north-west of Brown Moor Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 January 1931

Last Amended: 27 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20495

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Birdsall

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirby Underdale All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a bowl barrow and also part of a prehistoric cross-dyke
where this bisects the barrow. The monument is located on a plateau at the
western end of Birdsall Wold. It is one of a number of prehistoric monuments
in the vicinity of Aldro Farm.
Although altered over the years by agricultural activity and no longer visible
as a mound, the barrow is one of a group of seven bowl barrows which were
recorded by J R Mortimer in 1867-72; he noted that the barrow was 14m in
diameter. A ditch, estimated to be 3m wide, is thought to surround the barrow.
Mortimer's partial excavation of the mound revealed the ditch of the cross-
dyke cut across it; although he did not record its dimensions, this ditch is
estimated to be 6m wide and will have been flanked by banks of earth which
have now been levelled by cultivation.

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

Although the barrow has been partially altered by agricultural activity, it
was comparatively well documented during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th
century and below-ground remains will survive.
The barrow lies close to a linear boundary earthwork and, although at the
point where it crosses the monument the boundary is no longer visible as a
surface feature, the infilled ditch survives below-ground and the monument
retains archaeological evidence of the relationship between the two items.
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


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

Source: Historic England

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