Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two round barrows on Scarth Wood Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Whorlton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3931 / 54°23'35"N

Longitude: -1.28 / 1°16'48"W

OS Eastings: 446847.708221

OS Northings: 499976.762914

OS Grid: SE468999

Mapcode National: GBR MKHM.PY

Mapcode Global: WHD7R.9VQ1

Entry Name: Two round barrows on Scarth Wood Moor

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008864

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25534

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Whorlton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Whorlton

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes two round barrows lying 20m apart and situated in a
prominent position on the northern edge of the Hambleton Hills.
The southern barrow has a well preserved mound surrounded by a bank and ditch.
The earth and stone mound stands 0.75m high. It is round in shape and is 13m
in diameter. The ditch is 2m wide and 0.4m deep and the bank is 1m wide and
0.4m high.
The northern barrow has an earth and stone mound standing 0.75m high. It is
round in shape and 10m in diameter. The mound was surrounded by a ditch which
has been filled-in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork.
There are many similar barrows on this area of the Hambleton Hills. Many of
these lie in closely associated groups, particularly along the watersheds.
They provide evidence of 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

Both these barrows have survived well. The southern barrow has an unusually
well preserved bank and ditch. Significant information about the original
form, burials placed within it and evidence of earlier land use beneath the
mound will be preserved.
Together with nearby 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, (1993)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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