Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 400m north west of Towthorpe High Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Fimber, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0652 / 54°3'54"N

Longitude: -0.6491 / 0°38'56"W

OS Eastings: 488509

OS Northings: 464096.284752

OS Grid: SE885640

Mapcode National: GBR RPXF.8H

Mapcode Global: WHGD2.025V

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 400m north west of Towthorpe High Barn

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 15 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013714

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26536

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 Towthorpe Plantation, situated
on the county boundary line between North Yorkshire and Humberside. The barrow
is one of a group of seven barrows surviving in this area, five of which are
in a line along the county boundary.

The barrow survives as a prominent mound up to 2.3m high and between 20m - 21m
in diameter, and 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 from Wharram to 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 slight depression in the centre of the mound summit attests to the fact that
the barrow was excavated by J R Mortimer in 1882, who first discovered the
crushed fragments of a food vessel without any accompanying burial.

In addition to this, a few of pieces of human bone were found in an oval
grave, at the bottom of which was found another interment, that of the decayed
remains of a male skeleton of middle age, lying flexed on its right side and
head to the east. The right arm was doubled back with hand to the face and the
left arm bent with the hand across the body. A fine bronze dagger was found at
the right hip, with point towards the feet.

Traces of wood towards the base of the mound, including a piece of wood over a
metre in length and about 20cm thick and an oak stake penetrating the
original land surface, with a small piece of decayed bone adhering to it, also
suggested the remains of a cist.

A small amount of the mound material consisted of clay brought in from Burdale
and Duggleby, used to augment local material to form the central core of the
mound, following which a large amount of similar clay, intermixed with local
sediment, had been built up over it to complete the barrow mound.

A modern post and wire fence partly surrounds the monument on its south and
east sides, and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
it is included.

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 very
good condition, almost to its original height, 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), 6-7
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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