Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring cairn on Kail Hill 380m north east of High Woodhouse.

A Scheduled Monument in Hartlington, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0425 / 54°2'33"N

Longitude: -1.9329 / 1°55'58"W

OS Eastings: 404487.841081

OS Northings: 460730.658867

OS Grid: SE044607

Mapcode National: GBR GPYP.BM

Mapcode Global: WHB6X.8NS8

Entry Name: Ring cairn on Kail Hill 380m north east of High Woodhouse.

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014874

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27936

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hartlington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The ring cairn is built on the highest point of Kail Hill 380m north east
of High Woodhouse, overlooking lower Wharfedale. It includes a bank 2m-2.5m
wide and 0.3m-0.4m high. The interior has a diameter of 12m. A short section
of the southern bank has been disturbed in recent times and a stone setting is

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

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Although the ring cairn has been partly disturbed, much of it survives
intact displaying a number of features and in a prominent position. It will
also retain further archaeological deposits.

Source: Historic England

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