Ancient Monuments

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Three barrows at Seamer Beacon and the ruins of Baron Albert's Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Irton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2743 / 54°16'27"N

Longitude: -0.453 / 0°27'10"W

OS Eastings: 500833.079882

OS Northings: 487616.99175

OS Grid: TA008876

Mapcode National: GBR TM80.QK

Mapcode Global: WHGC0.0TKN

Entry Name: Three barrows at Seamer Beacon and the ruins of Baron Albert's Tower

Scheduled Date: 5 August 1933

Last Amended: 18 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008486

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21069

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Irton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Scarborough St Luke

Church of England Diocese: York


At Seamer Beacon, a prominent natural rise has been used as the location for a
group of three round barrows, this setting making them a highly visible
feature in the landscape. The central barrow occupies the highest position and
now survives as a mound around 10m in diameter and 1m high. It was disturbed
in the 19th century when its top was levelled and a stone tower folly, known
as Baron Albert's Tower, was constructed on it. In 1925 limited excavations
were carried out around the barrow and a V-shaped ditch was identified. To the
north of this barrow another barrow is visible as a lobate platform extending
out from the natural hill slope. This measures 11m in diameter by 1m in
height. It too has been partially levelled to form a viewing platform on the
hill slope. To the south of the central barrow and lower down the slope, a
third barrow 20m in diameter and 2m in height also extends out from the hill
slope. The two barrows attached to the hill are not known to have been
excavated. The ruins of Baron Albert's Tower are included in the scheduling.

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

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

Despite the 19th century building activities on Seamer Beacon, the prehistoric
barrows survive reasonably well and will retain significant archaeological
remains. The deliberate use of such a prominent location and the manner in
which the two lower barrows are appended onto the side of the natural hillock
is unusual and implies that this location was seen as important during the
prehistoric period. The barrows are members of a wider group on the moor and
will contribute to an understanding of the development and use of this group.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of the North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 485
Kitson Clark, M, Gazetteer of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire, (1935), 127
09129, North Yorkshire SMR (09129),

Source: Historic England

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