Ancient Monuments

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Embanked small stone circle at Harker Mires on Harkerside Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Grinton, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.3741 / 54°22'26"N

Longitude: -1.9473 / 1°56'50"W

OS Eastings: 403522.439151

OS Northings: 497619.49368

OS Grid: SE035976

Mapcode National: GBR GKVV.6S

Mapcode Global: WHB5C.2B03

Entry Name: Embanked small stone circle at Harker Mires on Harkerside Moor

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012612

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24539

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Grinton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Details

The monument is situated in thick heather on a north facing slope above
the lower reaches of Swaledale on Harkerside Moor. It includes a substantial
stone bank up to 3m wide, the inner face of which is marked by seven upright
stones 0.3m-0.6m high. A single entrance is located on the east side. The
monument has a diameter of 20m.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating
out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close
to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout
England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular
clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the
Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may
be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern.
Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the
Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully
designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the
heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully
understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but
it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies
that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided
a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead.
Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the
passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of
stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at
midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles
throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some
form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone
circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a
diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England
although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the
Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or
so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of
preservation.

Embanked stone circles are a type of small stone circle in which the ring of
upright stones is immediately surrounded by an earthen bank. The stones may
appear to revet the bank. Identified examples are clustered in the Peak
District, with a small number found in Wales, Northern England and Scotland.
This is an undisturbed and therefore well preserved example of this
monument type.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Laurie, T, Harker Mires, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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