Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long barrow 400m north west of Steeple Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Kepwick, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3062 / 54°18'22"N

Longitude: -1.2461 / 1°14'45"W

OS Eastings: 449155.27724

OS Northings: 490332.46052

OS Grid: SE491903

Mapcode National: GBR MLRN.13

Mapcode Global: WHD8B.T1T2

Entry Name: Long barrow 400m NW of Steeple Cross

Scheduled Date: 20 July 1964

Last Amended: 20 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008574

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24461

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kepwick

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a long barrow orientated north west to south east
situated on the west edge of Arden Little Moor. It lies in close proximity to
a group of round barrows and a series of prehistoric linear earthworks.
The barrow has a large well defined elongated earth and stone mound standing
1.3m high. It is 31m long, 10m wide at the south east end but tapering to 6m
at the west end. Excavations carried out by Canon Greenwell in 1877 revealed
five human burials and several flint artefacts. The remains of this excavation
can still be seen as a trench cutting across the barrow 5m from the south east
end. The mound was flanked by a ditch up to 3m wide which has become filled in
over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork.

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

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.

Despite limited disturbance this barrow has survived well. Significant
information about the original form, burials placed within it and evidence of
earlier land use beneath the mound will be preserved.
The monument is associated with a group of round barrows and later prehistoric
linear earthworks thought to mark a prehistoric boundary. Similar groups of
monuments are also known across the north and central areas of the North York
Moors providing important insight into burial practices. Such groupings of
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
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)
Kinnes, IA and Longworth, IH, Catalogue of the excavated material in the Greenwell collection, Catalogue of Excavated Material in the Greenwell Collection, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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