Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 700m west of Wharram Percy Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wharram, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0616 / 54°3'41"N

Longitude: -0.7197 / 0°43'10"W

OS Eastings: 483899.254724

OS Northings: 463604.725691

OS Grid: SE838636

Mapcode National: GBR RPDG.ZS

Mapcode Global: WHFBW.X5HN

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 700m west of Wharram Percy Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 19 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007560

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20513

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Wharram

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Wharram St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the crest of Toisland Wold, in
an area known as Greenlands. The barrow is one of a number of prehistoric
monuments at the eastern end of Birdsall Wold.
Although altered by agricultural activity, the barrow is visible as a 1m high
mound with a diameter of 30m; the edges of the mound are thought to have been
spread slightly by ploughing and there is no evidence that the adjacent modern
chalk quarry encroached on the original core of the barrow. A 22m diameter
ditch, which has become infilled over the years and masked by the edges of the
mound, is visible on aerial photographs. The barrow was recorded and
partially excavated by J R Mortimer in 1866. The central grave containing a
child's cremation burial was found.

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 is
still clearly visible, retaining conditions for the preservation of features
within and beneath the mound, 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


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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