Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 600m north east Towthorpe High Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Kirby Grindalythe, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0672 / 54°4'1"N

Longitude: -0.6386 / 0°38'18"W

OS Eastings: 489193.432022

OS Northings: 464327.46193

OS Grid: SE891643

Mapcode National: GBR RPZD.KS

Mapcode Global: WHGD2.515C

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 600m north east Towthorpe High Barn

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 15 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013700

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26537

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kirby Grindalythe

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Wharram St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, situated on the
county boundary line between North Yorkshire and Humberside. The barrow is one
of a group of seven surviving in this area, five of which are in a line along
the county boundary.
The barrow survives as a prominent mound up to 1.5m in height, and is
around 20m in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch between 2m and 3m wide,
which although no longer visible at the ground level, will survive as a buried
The monument was originally part of a much larger group of 21 barrows,
recorded by J R Mortimer as stretching for 7km from Wharram in the west
nearly as far as Sledmere in the east, and itself forms part of a chain of
barrows extending along the line of the ancient greenway now known as the
Wolds Way, from Aldro to Sledmere.
A depression in the centre of the mound attests to the fact that the barrow
was excavated by J R Mortimer in 1882. No interment was found, and only three
fragments of flint.
The material of the barrow mound consisted of a little clay brought in from
Burdale or Duggleby, which was used to augment the local sediment from this
A modern post and wire fence runs past the monument to its south and east
side, and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is

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

The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows within Towthorpe
Plantation. The location of the modern county boundary along this line of
barrows offers important insight into the antiquity of land divisions in this

Despite part excavation by J R Mortimer in 1882, the barrow survives in good
condition, almost to its original height, and will contain burials, and
archaeological information relating to its construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 7-8
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1989)
Craster, OE, AM7, (1966)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Pacitto, A.L., AM107, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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