Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 320m north-north-west of Seal Howe

A Scheduled Monument in Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5083 / 54°30'29"N

Longitude: -2.6264 / 2°37'34"W

OS Eastings: 359539.566074

OS Northings: 512732.282185

OS Grid: NY595127

Mapcode National: GBR BJ39.6P

Mapcode Global: WH933.MYK8

Entry Name: Round cairn 320m north-north-west of Seal Howe

Scheduled Date: 7 January 1958

Last Amended: 17 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011617

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22452

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Crosby Ravensworth

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Crosby Ravensworth St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a round cairn located 320m north-north-west of Seal Howe on an
escarpment of Carboniferous Limestone. It includes a slightly oval mound of
limestone stones and earth up to 1.4m high with maximum dimensions of 14m by
13m. Limited antiquarian investigation of the monument's centre located the
primary burial of an unburnt male on the old landsurface and, a short distance
to the south, a secondary burial consisting of an urn containing the cremated
remains of a woman and child. A few ox bones were also found.

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 construction of a bield (animal shelter) and modern cairn on the
monument's summit and limited antiquarian investigation, the round cairn 320m
north-north-west of Seal Howe survives reasonably well. This investigation
located human and faunal remains together with pottery, and further evidence
of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon the old
land surface.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877), 298
SMR No.1579, Cumbria SMR, Cairn 250yds NW of Seal Howe, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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