Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Square barrow adjacent to Cawthorne Camps, 520m north west of Saintoft Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Pickering, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2986 / 54°17'55"N

Longitude: -0.7961 / 0°47'45"W

OS Eastings: 478449.500922

OS Northings: 489892.048434

OS Grid: SE784898

Mapcode National: GBR QLWQ.GT

Mapcode Global: WHF9P.R63Y

Entry Name: Square barrow adjacent to Cawthorne Camps, 520m north west of Saintoft Lodge

Scheduled Date: 20 January 1964

Last Amended: 20 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015438

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25591

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Pickering

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Cropton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a square barrow situated in a prominent position on the
southern flank of Cawthorne Banks.
The barrow has an earth and stone mound standing 1.2m high. It is square in
shape with rounded corners and measures 11m across. The mound is surrounded by
a ditch up to 1m wide which has become partly infilled over the years and is
visible as a slight hollow. The mound has been dug into in antiquity, leaving
a deep hole.

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

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples
dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these
monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern
slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been
identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the
river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow
cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of
single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified.
Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as
earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight
banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The
main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval
grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are
also known.
A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by
grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include
the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the
body of the deceased.
Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and
levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments,
although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive
beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations
in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important
information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these
Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square
barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion
of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of

Although partly disturbed by early excavations, this barrow has survived well
and significant information about its original form and the burials placed
within it will be preserved. Together with similar monuments in the region,
the barrow offers important scope for the study of funeral practice in the
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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