Ancient Monuments

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Shorn medieval boundary cross and bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Kettlewell with Starbotton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1733 / 54°10'23"N

Longitude: -2.0482 / 2°2'53"W

OS Eastings: 396948.524752

OS Northings: 475274.119901

OS Grid: SD969752

Mapcode National: GBR GN45.CR

Mapcode Global: WHB68.HCWK

Entry Name: Shorn medieval boundary cross and bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 15 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008774

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24469

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kettlewell with Starbotton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The 14th century boundary cross known as Shorn Cross includes the
base of a free-standing stone cross broken at a height of approximately 0.5m.
Beside it is a fragment of the shaft of another boundary cross. The stones
differ in shape and composition and are situated on the summit of a bowl
barrow which averages 1.2m in height and has an approximate diameter of 12m.
It has a slightly disturbed flattened centre and faint traces of a
surrounding ditch around one side of its base.
This cross is associated with nearby Coverham Abbey and is believed to mark
the boundary of monastic estates in this area. It may also mark the boundary
of the 14th century Forest of Littondale which coincides with the monastic
boundary at this point.

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

Stone crosses were erected widely throughout the medieval period, mostly
between the 9th and 15th centuries and had a variety of functions, although
the main purpose of raising such a monument was to reiterate and reinforce the
Christian faith amongst those who passed it. Many crosses were erected to mark
the boundaries of lands held by ecclesiastical institutions such as
monasteries. Others fulfilled a role as waymarkers especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. Such crosses contribute significantly to our
understanding of medieval religious custom and landholding. Decorated examples
also contribute to our knowledge of sculptural and artistic traditions. All
examples which survive as earthfast monuments, except those which are damaged
and removed from their original locations are considered worthy of protection.
The remains of the Shorn Cross, although damaged, remain in situ at the
intersection of trackways from Kettlewell and Starbotton and on a high point
afforded by the bowl barrow. The barrow itself, whilst somewhat disturbed
retains its height and traces of a faint ditch and its reuse as the site for
the medieval boundary cross is unusual in this area

Source: Historic England

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