Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn on Addlebrough Hill including cup marked boulders.

A Scheduled Monument in Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2887 / 54°17'19"N

Longitude: -2.0844 / 2°5'3"W

OS Eastings: 394600.67344

OS Northings: 488124.715618

OS Grid: SD946881

Mapcode National: GBR FLWV.JC

Mapcode Global: WHB5N.YGLK

Entry Name: Cairn on Addlebrough Hill including cup marked boulders.

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010552

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24523

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bainbridge

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument is situated on the north crest of Addlebrough, a large flat
topped hill. The cairn is visible as a low stony mound with a diameter of
10.5m and a maximum height of 0.6m. It is much disturbed, the result of
robbing, natural erosion and the construction of an OS triangulation point
pillar on its north side. This has revealed several massive boulders within
the body of the cairn. Two of these have well defined cup marks and a boulder
on the north west side of the monument has a further 25 cups, three of them
surrounded by rings.
The mapped depiction has been drawn to enclose the OS triangulation point
symbol and is therefore slightly larger than the monument on the ground which
is 14.5m in diameter.

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 monument, although partially disturbed, is still a well preserved
example containing further archaeological remains.
Prehistoric rock `art' is found on natural rock outcrops in many upland
areas of Britain. The most common form is the cup and ring marking, where
small cup like hollows are cut into the surface of the rock. These may be
surrounded by one or more `rings'. Elaborations on this basic form also occur
but are less common. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups or may cover
extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze
Age periods (2800-c.500BC) and provide one of our most important insights into
prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown but they
may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols being frequently found close
to contempory burial monuments and on portable stones incorporated into burial
The rock carvings in this cairn survive well.

Source: Historic England

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