Ancient Monuments

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East Heslerton Brow barrow group: a long barrow 1000m east of Manor Wold Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sherburn, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1644 / 54°9'51"N

Longitude: -0.5638 / 0°33'49"W

OS Eastings: 493867.247156

OS Northings: 475244.006299

OS Grid: SE938752

Mapcode National: GBR SNH8.QX

Mapcode Global: WHGCJ.9LRB

Entry Name: East Heslerton Brow barrow group: a long barrow 1000m east of Manor Wold Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1957

Last Amended: 17 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011516

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20561

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sherburn

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: West Heslerton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a long barrow situated on the top of East Heslerton
Wold. The barrow lies along a narrow ridge which is slightly raised above the
surrounding land surface and it is thought that the barrow was originally
constructed to make use of this natural prominence. In the later Neolithic or
Early Bronze Age, at least three bowl barrows were constructed in the vicinity
of the long barrow.
Although altered by quarrying and agricultural activity, the barrow is still
visible as an earthwork. Over the years ploughing, parallel to a modern field
boundary which crosses the barrow, has eroded the middle of the barrow
more severely than the ends, with the result that the mound, actually 140m
long, now appears as two separate mounds. The western end of the long barrow
is best preserved, being 1.5m high and 23m wide, while the eastern end is 1m
high and 20m wide. In relatively recent times, the eastern end of the barrow
mound has been quarried to provide chalk for lime-making and the quarry pit,
now partially infilled and restored to cultivation, is visible as a slight
hollow 21m in diameter. A slight chalky mound on the eastern lip of the pit
marks the extremity of the barrow. Canon Greenwell, the antiquarian, referred
to the levelling of a long barrow on Heslerton Wold in 1862 and 1867, although
he probably did not visit the site in person. The eastern end of the barrow
was excavated in 1962 by F de M and H L Vatcher. No burials were located but,
despite the reduction of the mound, the foundation trenches of the timber
structures beneath the mound survived, some dug to a depth of 1m below the
surface. The Vatchers also recorded the eastern ends of the ditches which
originally flanked the barrow but which have become infilled with material
eroded from the mound and are no longer visible as earthworks. The ditches
are each 7m wide and give the long barrow a total width of 27m at the eastern
end but narrowing slightly to the west. The ditches have also been identified
on aerial photographs.
The fence in the hedgerow which crosses the barrow is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.

The western half of the East Heslerton long barrow is well preserved and,
although the eastern half has been altered by quarrying and agriculture,
excavation has shown that structural features cut into the ground surface
still survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Corcoran, J X W P, Megalithic Enq. in the W of Britain, (1969), 77-8
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877), 488-9
Vatcher, F de M , 'Antiquity' in Antiquity, , Vol. 39, (1965), 49-52
DPAL 21-25, DPAD 18, (1980)
Palmer R, Discussion of Bassingbourn `hillfort' site, (1991)
Stoertz, C, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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