Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 670m south of Great Tosson

A Scheduled Monument in Whitton and Tosson, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2929 / 55°17'34"N

Longitude: -1.9608 / 1°57'38"W

OS Eastings: 402585.93096

OS Northings: 599868.916522

OS Grid: NZ025998

Mapcode National: GBR G7R7.9F

Mapcode Global: WHB0W.V7G6

Entry Name: Cairn 670m south of Great Tosson

Scheduled Date: 17 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011606

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20895

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


This monument includes a cairn of Bronze Age date situated on a north facing
slope, now in an area of afforestation. The mound, constructed of large
stones, measures 10m in diameter and survives to a height of 1m. At the
centre of the cairn there is a large hole measuring 4m in diameter, the result
of partial excavation in 1889. The remains of two stone cists are clearly
visible at the centre. When the cairn was partially excavated one of the
cists contained the remains of cremated bones; the other was apparently empty.
Several Bronze Age pots were also discovered, one of which contained burnt
bone and ash and a flint tool.

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.

Despite partial excavation of this cairn in the past the limit of disturbance
is confined to the central area and significant archaeological deposits remain
undisturbed. They contain valuable evidence relating to the construction of
the cairn and the nature and duration of its use. Additionally, this cairn is
one of a group of prehistoric burial cairns in the area; it will contribute to
our understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity in the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dixon, D D, 'Archaeol Aeliana 2 ser 15 1892' in Archaeol Aeliana 2 ser 15 1892, (1892)

Source: Historic England

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