Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn, 250m south east of Low Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Matfen, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.046 / 55°2'45"N

Longitude: -1.9437 / 1°56'37"W

OS Eastings: 403694.133048

OS Northings: 572386.164756

OS Grid: NZ036723

Mapcode National: GBR GBV2.ZY

Mapcode Global: WHB22.3FPJ

Entry Name: Round cairn, 250m south east of Low Hall

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1962

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014072

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25183

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Matfen

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Matfen Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated
on a low ridge. The cairn, constructed of stone and earth, has a diameter of
16m and stands to a maximum height of 0.8m. The top of the mound is very flat
and may have been artificially levelled. During the 19th century an unrecorded
antiquarian excavation at the cairn uncovered two stone coffins or cists each
containing the remains of a cremation.

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

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

The cairn near Low Hall is reasonably well preserved and retains significant
archaeological deposits. Evidence of the manner of construction and the nature
and duration of its use will be preserved within and beneath the mound.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Tomlinson, W W, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, (1888), 148
NZ 07 SW 08,

Source: Historic England

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