Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn, 220m north of Tom's Crags

A Scheduled Monument in Greystead, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.098 / 55°5'52"N

Longitude: -2.5687 / 2°34'7"W

OS Eastings: 363807.730894

OS Northings: 578322.322511

OS Grid: NY638783

Mapcode National: GBR B9HH.P9

Mapcode Global: WH90F.J414

Entry Name: Round cairn, 220m north of Tom's Crags

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1964

Last Amended: 13 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010040

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25125

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Greystead

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a substantial round cairn of Bronze Age
date situated on the left bank of the River Irthing. The cairn, which has
become spread beyond its original extent, is now roughly oval in shape and is
composed of large angular stones. It measures 18m by 15m and stands to a
maximum height of 1.1m. The southern part of the cairn has been rearranged to
form a small rectangular sheep pen but the lower courses of the cairn material
are undisturbed.

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.

Despite the fact that the upper surface of the cairn has been rearranged, the
round cairn near Tom's Crags survives reasonably well and contains significant
archaeological deposits. This cairn is a rare survival of Bronze Age activity
in the region.

Source: Historic England

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