Ancient Monuments

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Esh's round barrow: a long barrow and later bowl barrow 400m north of Cross Thorns Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Luttons, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1073 / 54°6'26"N

Longitude: -0.5342 / 0°32'2"W

OS Eastings: 495934.829975

OS Northings: 468927.047125

OS Grid: SE959689

Mapcode National: GBR SNQY.4D

Mapcode Global: WHGCX.R1T3

Entry Name: Esh's round barrow: a long barrow and later bowl barrow 400m north of Cross Thorns Barn

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011576

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20558

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Luttons

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Helperthorpe St Peter

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow, which has a Bronze Age bowl
barrow adjoining its western end and is situated on ground which falls gently
to the south-east, towards Rabbit Garth Slack. A second long barrow lies 1km
to the south of this monument.
Although altered by agricultural activity and partially excavated in the 19th
century, the barrows are still visible as a single 0.5m high oblong mound,
measuring 50m east-west by 25m north-south. The quarry ditches which flanked
the long barrow have been infilled by gradual spreading of the mound material
but, although they are no longer visible as earthworks, the ditches survive
below ground and have been observed on aerial photographs. From the
photographs of these ditches it is known that the long barrow measures 35m
east-west and has an overall width of 30m at its eastern end which narrows to
20m at its western end. The bowl barrow was first identified by Canon
Greenwell and his pupil Robert Mortimer, excavating in 1866, and was also
recorded two years later by Robert Mortimer, excavating with his brother J R
Mortimer. The bowl barrow comprised a mound of 17m diameter, partially
surrounded by a 1m wide quarry ditch, and the south-eastern edge of the mound
overlay a foundation trench which originally held the timber facade at the
western end of the long barrow. Three burials had been placed on the ground
beneath the bowl barrow mound, along with cremation deposits and the scattered
bones of at least 3 more individuals; Neolithic pottery was recovered from
features relating to the long barrow. The site is known as 'Esh's round
barrow', after the tenant who farmed the land in the 1860's.

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.

Unusually, this Neolithic long barrow was later altered by the addition of an
Early Bronze Age bowl barrow, another type of burial mound dating to the
period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds,
sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials.
Although the barrows have been subsequently altered by agricultural activity,
they are still visible as a single slight earthwork. The bowl barrow was
comparatively well-documented during campaigns of fieldwork in the 19th
century. Further evidence of the structure of the mounds, the flanking ditches
of the long barrow, the circular ditch of the bowl barrow and burials placed
beneath the mounds, either on the old landsurface or in deep grave pits, will
The monument includes one of two closely associated long barrows, and the re-
use of the site for the construction of the bowl barrow illustrates a long,
probably continuous tradition of burial at one place. The monuments have wider
associations with the numerous broadly contemporary funerary monuments and
boundary earthworks on the Wolds. 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

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Kinnes, I A, Longworth, I H, The Greenwell Collection, (1985), 50-51
Kinnes, I A, Longworth, I H, The Greenwell Collection, (1985), 50-1
Hicks, J D, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Esh's Barrow, (1969), 306-13
Hicks, J D, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Esh's Barrow, (1969), 306-313
Stoertz, C, (1992)
Stoertz, K, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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