Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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A bowl barrow on Toisland Wold, 200m north-east of Toisland Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Birdsall, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0608 / 54°3'39"N

Longitude: -0.7304 / 0°43'49"W

OS Eastings: 483195.785441

OS Northings: 463511.699045

OS Grid: SE831635

Mapcode National: GBR RPBH.N1

Mapcode Global: WHFBW.R6C6

Entry Name: A bowl barrow on Toisland Wold, 200m north-east of Toisland Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 19 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007532

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20507

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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on uncultivated land at the crest
of Birdsall Brow, on Toisland Wold. The barrow is one of a number of
prehistoric monuments on Birdsall Wold.
The barrow is visible as a well-defined mound which is 2m high and 10m in
diameter. Although it has become infilled over the years and is no longer
visible, a ditch from which material was quarried for the construction of the
mound surrounds the barrow.
The barrow was recorded and partially excavated by J R Mortimer in 1866. A
central grave containing three burials was found and the encircling ditch was
recorded as being 0.46m wide at the bottom (it is estimated that the width at
the top was 3m).

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 partially excavated in the 19th century, the barrow is well preserved
and the structure of the mound, the underlying ground surface and further
burials will survive.
The monument is one of the best preserved of a closely associated group of
barrows which have further associations with broadly contemporary boundary
earthworks in the vicinity of Birdsall Wold. Similar groups of monuments are
also known 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 unpublished survey,

Source: Historic England

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