Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age square barrow cemetery on Haisthorpe Moor, 750m WNW of Demming Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Burton Agnes, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0442 / 54°2'39"N

Longitude: -0.275 / 0°16'29"W

OS Eastings: 513049.320026

OS Northings: 462292.624595

OS Grid: TA130622

Mapcode National: GBR VPJP.80

Mapcode Global: WHHFC.RL7Z

Entry Name: Iron Age square barrow cemetery on Haisthorpe Moor, 750m WNW of Demming Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1980

Last Amended: 22 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013706

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26527

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Burton Agnes

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Burton Agnes St Martin

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes an extensive square barrow cemetery of the Iron Age La
Tene period, situated in fields adjacent to Haisthorpe Moor, about three miles
due south west of Bridlington.
The site was discovered through aerial photography, which revealed at least
300 square barrows, representing one of the largest and most concentrated
cemeteries of the La Tene period in the Yorkshire Wolds.
The site consists of densely packed barrows distributed along a north-south
axis, in close east-west `runs', and measures approximately 800m long by 200m

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples
dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these
monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern
slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been
identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the
river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow
cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of
single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified.
Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as
earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight
banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The
main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval
grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are
also known.
A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by
grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include
the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the
body of the deceased.
Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and
levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments,
although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive
beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations
in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important
information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these
Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square
barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion
of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of

The square barrow cemetery on Haisthorpe Moor is one of the largest and most
concentrated square barrow cemeteries of the La Tene period in East Yorkshire.
Despite the loss of all above ground earthwork remains of the monument through
regular ploughing, aerial photographs confirm the presence of burials and
ditches, which survive as buried features, and which will retain important
information relating to the La Tene period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Loughlin, N, Miller, K R , Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 84;87
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1986)
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1989)
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1991)
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1993)
Cambridge University Collection, St Joseph, J.K., Ant 52 1978 137-9 plan, (1978)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Johnson, JK, AM7, (1979)
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey 75/261 1253-4 23/06/75; R1 NG 27/02/81,

Source: Historic England

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