Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two round barrows 275m south of Scarth Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Whorlton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3945 / 54°23'40"N

Longitude: -1.2786 / 1°16'43"W

OS Eastings: 446933.922545

OS Northings: 500125.309422

OS Grid: NZ469001

Mapcode National: GBR MKHM.ZH

Mapcode Global: WHD7R.BTC0

Entry Name: Two round barrows 275m south of Scarth Wood

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011917

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25532

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Whorlton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Whorlton

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes two round barrows 20m apart, one lying to the north of
the other, situated in a prominent position on the northern edge of the
Hambleton Hills.
Both the northern and the southern barrows have an earth and stone mound
standing 0.5m high. They are both round in shape and are 6m in diameter. The
centre and south eastern flank of the southern mound have been dug into in
antiquity. Both these mounds were each surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide
which has become filled-in over the years and is no longer visible as an
There are many similar barrows on this area of the Hambleton Hills. Many of
these lie in closely associated groups, particularly along the watersheds.
They provide evidence of territorial organisation marking divisions of land,
divisions which still remain as some parish or township boundaries.

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite limited disturbance both these barrows have survived well.
Significant information about the original form, burials placed within them
and evidence of earlier land use beneath the mounds will be preserved.
The monument is part of a group of barrows clustered on this part of the
Hambleton Hills thought to mark a prehistoric boundary. Similar groups of
monuments are also known across the north and central areas of the North York
Moors providing important insight into burial practice. Such groupings of
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
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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