Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn, 450m SSE of Swinburne Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Chollerton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0681 / 55°4'5"N

Longitude: -2.1017 / 2°6'6"W

OS Eastings: 393604.343665

OS Northings: 574848.59375

OS Grid: NY936748

Mapcode National: GBR F9RV.S1

Mapcode Global: WHB1S.PWD3

Entry Name: Round cairn, 450m SSE of Swinburne Castle

Scheduled Date: 24 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011405

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20934

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chollerton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chollerton St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated in parkland
adjoining Swinburne Castle. The cairn, constructed of large stones and earth,
measures 18m in diameter and is 1.3m high. The surrounding ditch, dug to
provide the material to construct the mound, is visible as a slight hollow
on the east and south sides. Several large stones around the base are
suggestive of a retaining kerb. The cairn shows signs of central disturbance,
the result of partial excavation in 1925 when charcoal and burnt wood were
uncovered. The cairn was known to local antiquarians as 'the King's Seat'.

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.

Although the cairn has been subject to partial excavation in the past, the
extent of disturbance is limited and its archaeological deposits survive well.
Evidence of the manner of construction and the nature and duration of use
will be preserved within and beneath the mound. The cairn is one of a small
group in this area and will contribute to any study of this wider group.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle, 4 ser 4 1929-30' in Opening of Barrows in Swinburne Park, (1930), 76-7
No. 5523,

Source: Historic England

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