Ancient Monuments

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A long barrow 120m north of Westow Grange, incorporating part of a medieval field system

A Scheduled Monument in Westow, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0766 / 54°4'35"N

Longitude: -0.8252 / 0°49'30"W

OS Eastings: 476962.217706

OS Northings: 465159.918588

OS Grid: SE769651

Mapcode National: GBR QPP9.4D

Mapcode Global: WHFBN.9S8N

Entry Name: A long barrow 120m north of Westow Grange, incorporating part of a medieval field system

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 6 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008302

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20541

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Westow

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: West Buckrose

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow which has been partially altered
by medieval ploughing, evinced by moderately well-preserved ridge and furrow
earthworks adjacent to the mound. The monument is situated on the lower
slopes of the Wolds on the edge of a rolling plateau overlooking the valley of
the Howl Beck to the east. Despite medieval cultivation, which may have
masked the full extent of the barrow, and partial excavation by Canon
Greenwell in the 1860s, the mound is still upstanding to a height of 1.5m; it
is oval in plan, measuring 30m long on its north east/south east axis by 25m
wide. Greenwell recorded that the original mound was composed of earth and
rubble with a single grave chamber containing at least five burials; a later
addition to the mound, on its south side, contained four additional burials.
A foundation trench for a timber facade was also identified.
The barrow lies at the northern edge of a field which was ploughed during the
medieval period. Although not very clearly defined, a series of ridges and
furrows approximately 6m wide and up to 0.3m high runs east-west across the
field. This cultivation extended at least as far as the foot of the barrow

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.

Although altered slightly by medieval ploughing and partially excavated in the
19th century, the long barrow remains as an upstanding mound. Further
evidence of burials and the structure of the barrow, including the flanking
ditches from which the mound material was obtained, will survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Kinnes, I A, Longworth, I H, The Greenwell Collection, (1985), 107-8
Record No. 01738,

Source: Historic England

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