Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 780m north east of Watermanhole Reservoir

A Scheduled Monument in Huggate, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0039 / 54°0'13"N

Longitude: -0.6828 / 0°40'58"W

OS Eastings: 486429.933

OS Northings: 457230.437

OS Grid: SE864572

Mapcode National: GBR RQN4.ZG

Mapcode Global: WHGD7.HM2F

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 780m north east of Watermanhole Reservoir

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013864

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26552

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 a Bronze Age bowl barrow on Huggate Wold, approximately
2km south west of Fridaythorpe Village and 780m north east of Watermanhole
Reservoir, in fields between Holm Dale to the north east and Horse Dale to the
south. The barrow is one of a broadly related group of barrows surviving in
this area, and 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 mound and spread its surface area, the barrow is still visible
as a low and very dispersed mound c.0.3m high and 20m in diameter. It is
surrounded by a ditch c.3m wide which, although infilled by ploughing and no
longer visible at ground level, will survive as a buried feature.
The monument was 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 monument lies around 1km to the north west of the linear bank system of
Horse Dale, and should 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.
The barrow was partly excavated by J R Mortimer in April 1882, who found it
surviving to a height of 1.5m.
The first interment discovered was that of an adult lying within a grave 0.6m
north of centre and cut into the original ground surface at the base of
the barrow. It had been placed flexed upon its right side with the left arm
doubled back, hand to neck.
An oval shaped grave was found in the centre of the barrow orientated
approximately east-west, measuring nearly 2m long, by 1.5m wide and 0.76m
deep, containing the remains of a young individual placed in the same position
as the first burial. Broken human bones of what appeared to have been a large
adult had been placed at the knees of burial two, apparently contemporaneously
with the burial itself, either representing the redeposition of an earlier
primary burial or possibly as a sacrificial offering. The grave fill consisted
of gritty sediment and bone fragments apparently belonging to the same
dismembered individual. Offerings of bones from red deer were also found among
These burials were originally encircled by a trench measuring 7.6m in
diameter, c.1m wide, and between 0.45m and 0.76m deep, which was found to
contain chalk rubble, together with pieces of burnt wood and three small pot
sherds. A gap measuring 2.74m wide was found on the west side of the barrow.
The mound which had been raised over the burials consisted of a core of local
soil and gritty chalk, covered with blue clay brought in from the valley
bottoms of the surrounding dales and completed with a layer of surface soil.
Excavation of the fabric of the mound disclosed fragments of a large human
skull, a portion of a small jaw bone with worn teeth, portions of a child's
skull and additional bones thought to have been from a disturbed burial.
Animal bones, a flint knife and half of a large greenstone celt were also
found, together with what appeared to have been a bone knife made from the leg
bone of a red deer.

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 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 barrow still survives as a visible feature in the
landscape, 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)

Source: Historic England

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