Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three round cairns on Thirl Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3688 / 55°22'7"N

Longitude: -2.3075 / 2°18'26"W

OS Eastings: 380607.695147

OS Northings: 608349.315315

OS Grid: NT806083

Mapcode National: GBR D6BC.78

Mapcode Global: WH8Z6.JBD2

Entry Name: Three round cairns on Thirl Moor

Scheduled Date: 23 November 1967

Last Amended: 10 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008883

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20916

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes three large cairns of Bronze Age date situated in a row
on the summit of Thirl Moor. All are constructed of unusually small stones
and do not display traces of ditches or retaining circles of stone. The most
northerly cairn, on the highest point of the moor, survives very well despite
the construction of a modern cairn at its centre to support a flagstaff; it
measures 15m in diameter and is 1.3m high. Some 13m south of this cairn there
is a second, more massive cairn measuring 19m in diameter and up to 2m in
height. Immediately south lies the third and best preserved cairn, measuring
15m in diameter and up to 1.7m in height.

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

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

The three cairns on Thirl Moor survive in a good state of preservation and are
good examples of their type. Their archaeological deposits are largely
undisturbed and will contain valuable evidence relating to their construction
and the nature and duration of their use.

Source: Historic England


NT 80 NW 01,
NY 80 NW 01,

Source: Historic England

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