Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow 40m west of Butcher's Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Cowesby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3055 / 54°18'19"N

Longitude: -1.2732 / 1°16'23"W

OS Eastings: 447390.658881

OS Northings: 490226.826141

OS Grid: SE473902

Mapcode National: GBR MLKN.4C

Mapcode Global: WHD8B.D1YP

Entry Name: Round barrow 40m west of Butcher's Wood

Scheduled Date: 20 July 1964

Last Amended: 5 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008584

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24446

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cowesby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a round barrow on the northern edge of a spur projecting
westwards from the Hambleton Hills.
The barrow has a well defined earth and stone mound standing 0.75m high. It is
round in shape and 9m in diameter. The centre has been dug into in antiquity.
This mound was surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which has become filled
in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork.
It is one of many similar barrows on the Hambleton Hills. Many of these lie in
closely associated groups, particularly along the watersheds. They provide
evidence of prehistoric territorial organisation marking divisions of land,
divisions which still remain as some parish or township boundaries.

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

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.
Together with adjacent barrows it is thought to represent a territorial
marker. Similar groups of monuments are also known across the north and
central areas of the North York Moors, providing important insight into burial
practice. 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)

Source: Historic England

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