Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Percy Cross bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4985 / 54°29'54"N

Longitude: -1.0647 / 1°3'52"W

OS Eastings: 460671.210887

OS Northings: 511867.993606

OS Grid: NZ606118

Mapcode National: GBR PJ0F.95

Mapcode Global: WHF8L.M666

Entry Name: Percy Cross bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 7 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015435

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28256

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Great Ayton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kildale St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in a prominent position on the
north edge of the North York Moors
The barrow has an earth and stone mound standing 1.2m high. It is round in
shape and 12m in diameter. The mound was partly excavated in 1961 when a
narrow trench was cut across the centre. This excavation revealed a stone
cist, or box-like structure to house a burial, which measured 1.2m by 0.66m
and 0.45m deep. Within the cist was a scatter of cremated bone and a small jet
bead. In common with other similar barrows in the area the mound was
surrounded by a kerb of stones which defined the barrow and supported the
mound. However, over the years the stones have disappeared or been buried by
soil slipping from the mound.
The excavation trench was dug in advance of the rebuilding of a stone wall
crossing the mound which has now been demolished, although a distinct hollow
is still clearly visible.
The barrow lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments including further
barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

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

Despite limited disturbance, this barrow has survived well. Significant
information about the original form of the barrow and the burials placed
within it will be preserved. Evidence of earlier land use will also survive
beneath the barrow mound.
Together with other barrows in the area it is thought to also represent a
territorial marker. Similar groups of monuments are known across the west and
central areas of the North York Moors, providing important insight into burial
practice. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for the study of
the division of land for social and ritual purposes in different geographical
areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Elgee, F, Early Man in NE Yorkshire, (1930), 148
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds in North East Yorkshire, (1995), 63
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 91-116

Source: Historic England

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