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Two bowl barrows on Huggate Wold, 600m north west of Horsedale Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Huggate, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.008 / 54°0'28"N

Longitude: -0.6698 / 0°40'11"W

OS Eastings: 487272.215122

OS Northings: 457707.784096

OS Grid: SE872577

Mapcode National: GBR RQR2.SZ

Mapcode Global: WHGD7.PJ77

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Huggate Wold, 600m north west of Horsedale Plantation

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013855

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26543

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Huggate

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Huggate St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes two adjacent Bronze Age bowl barrows on Huggate Pasture,
situated about 1.5km due south of Fridaythorpe Village and 600m north west of
Horsedale Plantation, in fields between Holm Dale to the north east and Horse
Dale to the south. The barrows lie close together, approximately on an ENE-WSW
axis, and belong to a group of six barrows surviving in close proximity in
this area. Together, these form part of a much larger group of bowl barrows
dispersed across Huggate Wold and Huggate Pasture.
Although altered over the years by agricultural activity which has reduced the
height of the barrow mounds and spread their surfaces, they are still visible
as two low mounds. The easterly one of the pair survives to a height of 0.35m
and is c.24 metres in diameter, while the westerly barrow is 0.25m high and
c.22m in diameter. Both are surrounded by ditches c.3m wide which, although
infilled by ploughing and no longer visible at ground level, will survive as
buried features.
These monuments were originally part of a larger cemetery of 20 barrows
existing adjacent to an ancient trackway, which itself is related to the
ancient greenway in the Wolds of East Yorkshire, now known as the Wolds Way.
The barrow cemetery lies around 800m to the north of the linear bank system of
Horse Dale, and Holm Dale to the east, and should therefore be viewed in the
context of the wider ancient landscape, where very extensive systems of banks,
dykes and hollow ways link large tracts of the countryside in this area of the
Yorkshire Wolds.
Both barrows were partly excavated by J R Mortimer in March 1882, when they
were observed to have been much reduced in height and dispersed by the effects
of ploughing, although then surviving to a height of around 0.75m.
The eastern monument of this pair was observed to consist of loamy clay which
had apparently been brought in from outside the locality, a little gritty
chalk and local sediments. A total of four inhumations were discovered.
Two burials - graves `A' and `B' - were found toward the centre of the mound.
Grave A, constructed of gritty chalk, was orientated north-south and measured
2.1m by 1.4m and 1.4m in depth. It contained the fragmented portions of a
large skull, together with other bones of a large adult, the fragments of an
infant's skull, part of the leg bone of an ox, and a deer antler. The flexed
remains of another, immature body were found on the rocky base of grave A,
surrounded by pieces of chalk rubble. Overlying grave A was an inverted
cremation urn containing the calcined bones of an adult. Another adult
skeleton was found lying within the same horizon as the urn, somewhat to the
south east of grave A, and was accompanied by a food vase.
Grave B, constructed on loamy clay sediments, measured 1.8m long, 1m across
and 0.75m deep and contained the bones of an adult. Overlying this was a
crushed food vase, together with the decayed remains of an infant.
The bulk of the barrow mound raised over these four inhumations consisted of
unbroken horizons of loamy sediment.
The western barrow of this pair was also found to consist partly of foreign
loamy sediment used to augment the mound. One metre from the base of the mound
was a circular grave pit (`A'), measuring 2.3m in diameter at its base and
nearly 3m at its top. Within this pit lay two flexed adult bodies of medium
size, 0.5m apart and facing one another, with heads to the south east. They
were surrounded by small pieces of chalk rubble, were covered by a boat shaped
mass of clay and were in a poor, fragmented condition.
A second grave pit ('B') lay to the south east of the first, and contained the
skeleton of a child aged between eight and ten years old, lying flexed on its
left side, with hands to face, and skull facing east. A large circular flake
of local flint lay upon the abdomen and remains of a decayed piece of wood
measuring 0.6m by 4cm extended from the feet towards the head along the south
side of the body. Below this lay a second interment of a young adult male,
flexed upon its back, but turned slightly to the south, with the head pointing
A large, circular grave was found towards the centre of the mound, towards
the south side of which, just overlying the base of the monument, lay a
crushed food vessel. A translucent flint knife was found close by. Traces of a
decayed skeleton lay within this horizon, within thick clay which extended
into the grave. Beneath this interment lay the crouched remains of an adult
skeleton, flexed on its right side, with head to the south, covered with a
thick film of carbonized material, which appeared in the form of a hollow.
These two interments were observed to be secondary and intrusive to the
principal burials described above.

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

These two bowl barrows are part of a closely associated group of barrows on
Huggate Wold. The location of the barrows alongside an ancient greenway, and
close to the very extensive systems of dykes and hollow ways dating back to
the Bronze Age, offers important insights into ancient land use and
territorial divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this
area of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Despite part excavation by J R Mortimer in 1882, and the effects of ploughing
over many years, the barrows still survive as visible features in the
landscape, and will contain further burials and archaeological information
relating to their construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)

Source: Historic England

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