Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 150m NNE of Towthorpe High Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Fimber, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0641 / 54°3'50"N

Longitude: -0.6431 / 0°38'35"W

OS Eastings: 488906.975978

OS Northings: 463978.476

OS Grid: SE889639

Mapcode National: GBR RPYF.KW

Mapcode Global: WHGD2.331Q

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 150m NNE of Towthorpe High Barn

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 18 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013702

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26539

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Fimber

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Wharram St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in a field 150m north east
of Towthorpe High Barn. The monument is one of a group of seven barrows
surviving in this area, five of which lie in a line along the county boundary
300m to the north.

Although altered over the years by agricultural activity which has spread the
mound, the barrow is still visible as a slight mound up to 0.3m high, and 24m
in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide, which although
infilled by ploughing and now no longer visible at the ground level, will
survive as a buried feature.

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.

The monument was excavated twice by J R Mortimer in 1863, and again in 1867.
During the first excavation, an interment, much disturbed by contemporary
ploughing, was found a little below the surface in the centre of the mound,
consisting of a skull and some long bones. A short way below this a second
interment was found, and a third below the second on the floor of the grave.
The second and third bodies had been interred flexed, with their heads to the
west. To the south of the three main burials, four child burials were found
near the base of the mound, consisting of four small skulls together with
other bones. Three more adult skeletons were found to the west, a little
beneath the base of the mound, two of which had chalk breccia placed near
their heads. These lay with their heads to the north west, excepting one who
had been placed with the head laying in the opposite direction. No traces of
any grave offerings were found with these interments.

The barrow was again excavated by Mortimer in 1867, who on this occasion found
another flexed burial 3m north east of the centre, lying on its right
side with head to the south. The much decayed remains of a child's body were
found 3m to the south west of the centre, accompanied by a food vessel
placed rim down, the only burial offering found in the monument.

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 and
adjacent to the Towthorpe Plantation. The location of the modern county
boundary near this line of barrows offers important insight into the
antiquity of land divisions in this region.

Despite part excavation by J R Mortimer in 1863 and again in 1867, and the
effects of ploughing over many years, the barrow still survives as a slight
visible mound, and will contain further 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), 8
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1989)
Craster, OE, AM7, (1966)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Pacitto, A.L., AM107, (1985)
Walker, J., AM12, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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