Ancient Monuments

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Pudding Pie Hill: a bowl barrow 650m south-east of St Oswald's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Sowerby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2231 / 54°13'23"N

Longitude: -1.3312 / 1°19'52"W

OS Eastings: 443704.386045

OS Northings: 481021.390259

OS Grid: SE437810

Mapcode National: GBR MM4L.LX

Mapcode Global: WHD8P.J3BV

Entry Name: Pudding Pie Hill: a bowl barrow 650m south-east of St Oswald's Church

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1936

Last Amended: 22 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008737

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20459

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sowerby

Built-Up Area: Thirsk

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes the bowl barrow which is situated on the east bank of
the Cod Beck river 650m south-east of St Oswald's Church and lies on the edge
of an area of high ground adjacent to the floodplain of the river. The mound
is 40m in diameter and the summit is about 3m above the high-ground to the
east and rises to 6m above the floodplain. A slight irregular hollow at the
top of the mound is thought to be the result of a partial excavation of the
barrow by Lady Russell in 1855. Three male skeletons and some cremated bones
were found along with a number of Anglian weapons; these burials represent a
re-use of the mound for burials in the Dark Ages and it is thought that
Prehistoric burials, interred when the mound was built, were not disturbed by
the excavators. The barrow is surrounded by a ditch which cuts into the
hillside to the south-east of the mound and is between 5m and 10m wide by up
to 1.5m deep, while on the north-west side the ditch lies on the floodplain
and is now 0.5m deep, having become silted-up over the years. The low-lying
parts of the ditch are partially waterlogged. There is a slight 1m wide outer
bank on the edge of the ditch on the floodplain. The ditch and outer bank have
been incorporated into later field boundaries.

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

The barrow 650m south-east of St Oswald's Church is a relatively large and
well-preserved example and partial excavation, which has demonstrated the
existence of secondary inhumations, is not thought to have damaged any primary
burials. The situation of the barrow means that the surrounding ditch and
deeper-cut features beneath the mound retain waterlogged conditions favouring
the preservation of organic artefacts and plant remains from which the
Prehistoric environment of the barrow may be reconstructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Whellan, J J, History and Topography of the North Riding of Yorkshire, (1859), 706
ECW, NAR Record, (1962)

Source: Historic England

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