Ancient Monuments

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Acklam Wold barrow group: a pair of bell barrows and a bowl barrow 200m south-west of Acklam Wold House

A Scheduled Monument in Acklam, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0489 / 54°2'56"N

Longitude: -0.7854 / 0°47'7"W

OS Eastings: 479620.692733

OS Northings: 462122.683843

OS Grid: SE796621

Mapcode National: GBR QPYM.RB

Mapcode Global: WHFBV.XH5C

Entry Name: Acklam Wold barrow group: a pair of bell barrows and a bowl barrow 200m south-west of Acklam Wold House

Scheduled Date: 2 September 1960

Last Amended: 13 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011547

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20551

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Acklam

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: West Buckrose

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a pair of bell barrows, contained within a single outer
ditch, and a separate but adjacent bowl barrow. A number of other barrows are
situated on the crest of Acklam Wold.
Although altered by agricultural activity, the bell barrows are still visible
as mounds; each is 1m high and 30m in diameter. The mounds are surrounded by
quarry-ditches 21m in diameter, although these have become buried by gradual
spreading of the mound material, they have been identified on aerial
photographs. The photographs also show that the barrows were both contained
by an outer ditch which forms a kidney-shaped enclosure externally measuring
60m east-west by 30m north-south. The bell barrows were recorded and
partially excavated in 1849 by Wm Proctor of the York Antiquarian Club and in
1877 by J R Mortimer. The western barrow contained six adult skeletons buried
in a 1.2m deep T-shaped grave; the eastern contained five burials, including
two children, and its mound contained fragments of freestone whose nearest
source is at the foot of the Wold near Acklam Village.
The third barrow lies to the north of the bell barrows and, although altered
by agricultural activity, the mound is visible as a patch of chalky soil 18m
in diameter surrounded by a 5m wide ring of dark soil marking the location of
its infilled quarry ditch. The barrow is also visible on aerial photographs.
This burial mound was not recorded in the 19th century and it may have been
leveled in antiquity, during the construction of the bell barrows.
The fence crossing the eastern bell barrow is excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath the fence is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Bell barrows are rare in the north of England and, although the examples on
Acklam Wold have been partially altered by agricultural activity, they are
still visible as earthworks. The bell barrows were also comparatively well-
documented during campaigns of fieldwork in the 19th century. Associated with
the bell barrows is a bowl barrow, a slightly earlier and much more common
form of burial mound; the bowl barrow mound has been levelled by agricultural
activity but is identifiable as a soil mark and the buried quarry ditch is
visible on aerial photographs. Further evidence of the structure of the
mounds, the surrounding ditches and the burials will survive.
The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows which have
further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks in the
vicinity of Acklam Wold. Similar groups of monuments are also known from other
parts of the Wolds and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such
associations between monuments offer important scope for the study of the
division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different
geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 86-7
Stoertz, K, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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