Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn on Shillhope Law

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3809 / 55°22'51"N

Longitude: -2.2018 / 2°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 387309.547603

OS Northings: 609676.480886

OS Grid: NT873096

Mapcode National: GBR F626.3X

Mapcode Global: WHB0D.40SR

Entry Name: Round cairn on Shillhope Law

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008434

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25053

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a substantial round cairn of prehistoric
date situated on the summit of Shillhope Law. The cairn, composed of loose
angular stones, measures 16m east-west by 20m north-south and stands to a
maximum height of 1m. There is an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar on the
top of the cairn, surrounded by a modern cairn of stones and a stone wall.
The surrounding stone wall is excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath it is included.

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

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

The round cairn on Shillhope Law is well preserved and contains significant
archaeological deposits. Evidence of the manner of construction, and the
nature and duration of its use will be preserved within and beneath the mound.

Source: Historic England


NT 80 NE 06,

Source: Historic England

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