Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn on Force Ing, west of Whitfield Gill

A Scheduled Monument in Low Abbotside, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3273 / 54°19'38"N

Longitude: -2.1112 / 2°6'40"W

OS Eastings: 392862.931707

OS Northings: 492420.021804

OS Grid: SD928924

Mapcode National: GBR FLPD.QK

Mapcode Global: WHB5G.JHWG

Entry Name: Ring cairn on Force Ing, west of Whitfield Gill

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 10 November 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010538

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24508

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Low Abbotside

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument is situated in a commanding position on the crest of a long
ridge on high ground above Whitfield Gill. Only three quarters of the
enclosing inner bank is visible but this is well defined. The monument has a
diameter of 18m which includes a 2m wide and approximately 0.6m deep ditch and
the remains of an outer bank discernible on the east side of the monument. The
2.5m wide inner bank rises to a height of between 0.6m-0.9m above the base of
the ditch, but only 0.3m above the interior of the cairn.
The monument was excavated prior to 1929 by Dr Arthur Raistrick. The centre
of the monument had been disturbed previous to this.

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.

The monument although partially disturbed is still a well preserved
example of this monument type containing further archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England

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