Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Yarnbury henge monument

A Scheduled Monument in Grassington, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0846 / 54°5'4"N

Longitude: -1.98 / 1°58'47"W

OS Eastings: 401406.266754

OS Northings: 465414.634846

OS Grid: SE014654

Mapcode National: GBR GPM6.4J

Mapcode Global: WHB6P.KLCH

Entry Name: Yarnbury henge monument

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1964

Last Amended: 1 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008877

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24480

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Grassington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The well preserved henge monument at Yarnbury is situated on a slight
south east facing gradient 400m north east of Mire House. It includes a
circular ditch with an external bank and entrance causeway on the south east
side. The central enclosure has an approximate diameter of 20m by 22m with the
surrounding rock cut ditch 3.5m wide and 0.25m deep. The outer turf covered
stony bank is 3m-4m wide with a maximum height of 0.5m. The single clearly
defined causeway entrance has a width of approximately 2m. An area about 10m
in diameter to the north of the entrance has been destroyed by modern
quarrying; this has sectioned the bank exposing its earth and stone structure.
There is a slight mutilation to the bank and ditch about 2m to the west of the
entrance and the entrance causeway itself has sustained damage on its south
The monument was partially excavated in 1964 by Mr D Dymond of the Royal
Commission on the Historic Monuments of England.

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

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic
period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval-
shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a
ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the
interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features
including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or
central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide
important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types
of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in
which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the
exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally
situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are
rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of
identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all
henges are considered to be of national importance.

Yarnbury henge monument is a well preserved example of this relatively rare
monument type. Although the site has been partially excavated, undisturbed
areas particularly the ditch will retain environmental evidence relating to
the landscape in which the monument was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Raistrick, Dr A, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 41, (1965), 323-4
Raistrick, Dr A, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 29, (1929), 364
Wainwright, G J, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.' in , , Vol. 35, (1969), 124

Source: Historic England

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