Ancient Monuments

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Simonside Cairn 670m west-north-west of Old Stell Crag

A Scheduled Monument in Whitton and Tosson, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2825 / 55°16'57"N

Longitude: -1.9636 / 1°57'48"W

OS Eastings: 402409.581938

OS Northings: 598711.413333

OS Grid: NZ024987

Mapcode National: GBR G7QC.P5

Mapcode Global: WHB0W.TH46

Entry Name: Simonside Cairn 670m west-north-west of Old Stell Crag

Scheduled Date: 14 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011605

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20893

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Whitton and Tosson

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a large cairn of Bronze Age date situated on the western
summit of Simonside Hill overlooking the Coquet valley. It has been
constructed on the edge of a rocky spur with extensive views in all directions
and is a prominent landmark. It survives to a height in excess of 1m and has
a diameter of 18m. The mound is constructed of large boulders; many of those
on the surface have been re-arranged by walkers to form a modern marker cairn.

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.

This cairn survives reasonably well and is a good example of its type. Much
of the archaeological deposits are undisturbed and contain valuable evidence
relating to the construction of the cairn and the nature and duration of its
use. Additionally, it is one of a group of large prehistoric burial cairns
located prominently on the summits of hills in Coquetdale and it will
contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity in the

Source: Historic England


No. 2319,

Source: Historic England

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