Ancient Monuments

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Apron Full of Stones cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Thornton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2041 / 54°12'14"N

Longitude: -2.4473 / 2°26'50"W

OS Eastings: 370919.504354

OS Northings: 478800.010266

OS Grid: SD709788

Mapcode National: GBR CMBT.YP

Mapcode Global: WH94R.CLVD

Entry Name: Apron Full of Stones cairn

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1964

Last Amended: 16 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010447

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24496

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Thornton in Lonsdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Thornton-in-Lonsdale St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


Apron Full of Stones is a cairn built almost completely of grit and sandstone
prominently situated on the east side of Kingsdale at the edge of the flood
plain. The monument measures 23m-24m in diameter and it seems likely that up
to 6m has been eroded by the stream from the north east portion. Though
decapitated the cairn stands 3m high above a river terrace of the same height.
The cairn is built on a slight west facing gradient with the eastern side at a
higher level buried beneath upland peat. The cairn appears to have been
constructed during a single phase, the stones having been graded with the
small at the top and the large below, covering completely a kerb of large
boulders. The monument has been identified as being ditchless.
The cairn was partially excavated in 1972 revealing an empty grave, a
cremation burial, a pit and a scatter of worked and waste flints.

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

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Although disturbed by excavation, this is still an important and well
preserved monument containing further archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Turnbull, P, Apron Full of Stones, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1993)
King, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Apron Full of Stones, A Prehistoric Cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1978), 25-30
King, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Apron Full of Stones, A Prehistoric Cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1978), 26

Source: Historic England

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