Ancient Monuments

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Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow, a square barrow and part of a cross-dyke on Leavening Wold

A Scheduled Monument in Leavening, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.057 / 54°3'25"N

Longitude: -0.7815 / 0°46'53"W

OS Eastings: 479862.443804

OS Northings: 463030.320146

OS Grid: SE798630

Mapcode National: GBR QPZJ.MD

Mapcode Global: WHFBV.Z914

Entry Name: Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow, a square barrow and part of a cross-dyke on Leavening Wold

Scheduled Date: 14 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007517

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20464

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Leavening

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: West Buckrose

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, an Iron Age square barrow and
an adjacent cross-dyke situated on the crest of Leavening Wold. The monument
is one of a group of prehistoric sites in the vicinity of Aldro Farm. The bowl
barrow is one of a group of seven barrows near Aldro Wood, all partially
excavated by J R Mortimer in 1868 after the mounds were partially levelled for
agricultural purposes and, despite this alteration, the below-ground remains
of a central burial, the ancient landsurface beneath the mound and an
encircling ditch were recorded. Although no longer apparent as an upstanding
earthwork, the buried ditch, having an external diameter of 22m, is still
visible on aerial photographs.
The square barrow lies about 10m to the north-east of the bowl barrow. It is
not visible as a surface feature and was not noted by Mortimer but the below-
ground remains of its rectangular ditch have been identified on aerial
photographs. The external dimensions of the barrow are 15m by 10m.
The cross-dyke includes a ditch which, although infilled, is visible on aerial
photographs and runs westwards from the top of Birdsall Wold, passing between
the group of bowl barrows at Aldro Wood, continuing down Leavening Wold. The
ditch passes adjacent to the two barrows in this monument, lying about 10m
north of the edge of the bowl barrow and touching the north-west side of the
square barrow. The ditch is estimated to be 5m wide and the sides will have
had banks formed from the excavated earth, although these have been levelled
and are no longer visible as earthworks. The buried ditch is included in the
scheduling where it lies adjacent to the barrows.

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

This monument includes three different types of site of different periods in
close association. Although now levelled, each will retain surviving
archaeological remains in features cut into bedrock below ploughsoil. Their
principal importance is as significant components of the wider distribution of
linear earthworks and burial monuments which have been recorded on the Wolds.
Taken together, the linear earthworks form an extensive system across the
Wolds and their construction is thought to span the millennium from the Middle
Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current interpretations
favour the view that they were used to define territorial land holdings or
subdivisions of such holdings; in the latter case, as for the cross-dyke in
this monument, they probably defined areas of land used for different
In a number of places, the linear earthworks are directly associated with
earlier bowl barrows, funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic to the
Early Bronze Age. Bowl barrows were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds,
usually ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. The barrow in this
monument is one of a group and has a direct relationship with the cross-dyke;
such relationships are important in providing an insight into the changing
patterns of land-use through time across the Wolds.
Unusually, the monument also includes a later, Iron Age square barrow; when it
was constructed the earlier monuments would have been clearly visible as
surviving earthworks, providing evidence of the continuity of boundaries in
this part of the Wolds over long periods of time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)
RCHME (York) unpublished survey, 1971,
Stoetz, K., RCHME unpublished survey,

Source: Historic England

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