Ancient Monuments

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Trowupburn cairn group

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5345 / 55°32'4"N

Longitude: -2.2006 / 2°12'2"W

OS Eastings: 387438.431613

OS Northings: 626769.605292

OS Grid: NT874267

Mapcode National: GBR F42F.CV

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.55C0

Entry Name: Trowupburn cairn group

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1969

Last Amended: 15 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010333

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24588

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a round cairn with four associated secondary cairns.
They are located on the summit of a spur, north of Trowupburn Farm. The
location of the cairns have views to the south, east and north, but are
overlooked by a hill to the west.
The main cairn has a mound 1m high made of stones with an earth and turf
covering. Recent clearance stones dumped on top increase the height of the
cairn to 1.3m. The diameter of the main cairn is 18m.
Two smaller cairns are visible to the west of the main cairn and a further two
small cairns are visible to the east. These too are made of earth and turf
covered stone mounds and appear to have formed secondary burials around the
main cairn. The entire complex measures c.30m east-west and 18m north-south.

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 cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age. They comprise groups of cairns
sited in close proximity to one another and take the form of stone mounds
constructed to cover single or multiple burials. Contemporary or later `flat'
graves may lie between individual cairns. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time and they can exhibit considerable diversity of
burial rite, plan and form. Occasionally they are associated with earlier long
cairns. They may also be associated with clearance cairns - heaps of stones
cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for
agricultural activities; these were also being constructed during the Bronze
Age, although some examples are of later date. It may be impossible without
excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round
cairn cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution
pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Often
occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern
landscape. Their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of preservation.

This round cairn and its associated secondary cairns is a well preserved
example situated in a prominent landscape position. It is one of a series of
cairns which occupy prominent positions in this area. As such it will
contribute significantly towards a fuller understanding of the funerary
landscape of the Bronze Age and will contribute to the study of beliefs and
social organisation amongst these early prehistoric communities.

Source: Historic England

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