Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 540m NNW of Southernknowe

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5197 / 55°31'11"N

Longitude: -2.1795 / 2°10'46"W

OS Eastings: 388764.90234

OS Northings: 625123.821553

OS Grid: NT887251

Mapcode National: GBR F46M.Y4

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.HJCC

Entry Name: Round cairn 540m NNW of Southernknowe

Scheduled Date: 20 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014489

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24628

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a round cairn of Bronze Age date, situated on a river
terrace above the College Burn. The cairn is visible as a turf covered
sub-circular mound of earth and stone; it measures 7m east-west by 5.5m
north-south and stands 0.5m high. Remnants of a kerb are visible around the
cairn and the centre is slightly sunken.

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 540m NNW of Southernknowe survives well and contains significant
archaeological deposits. It is situated within an area of clustered
archaeological sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological
landscape. It will contribute to any study of land use in the later
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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