Ancient Monuments

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Three round barrows on Cold Moor known as Three Howes

A Scheduled Monument in Bilsdale Midcable, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4087 / 54°24'31"N

Longitude: -1.1508 / 1°9'3"W

OS Eastings: 455213.58679

OS Northings: 501799.913745

OS Grid: NZ552017

Mapcode National: GBR NKDG.ND

Mapcode Global: WHD7T.9G73

Entry Name: Three round barrows on Cold Moor known as Three Howes

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1968

Last Amended: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015799

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29511

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bilsdale Midcable

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bilsdale Priory St Hilda

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes three round barrows situated in a prominent position
on the top of Cold Moor on the north of the Hambleton Hills. The monument is
divided into two areas separated by a track. In the area to the west are two
barrows, one lying 60m to the north of the other, and in the area to the east
is a single barrow. Also included in the area to the west is the
undisturbed archaeologically sensitive ground between the barrows where
remains of flat graves are likely to survive.

The barrows each have an earth and stone mound which is round in shape. In the
western area the northern barrow mound is 12m in diameter and 1m high. There
are some large kerb stones visible around the edge of the mound. The southern
mound is 11m in diameter and 1.2m high. In the centre of each mound is a
slight depression resulting from investigations of the mound in the past.
In the the area to the east the barrow has a mound 14m in diameter and 1.5m
high. In the centre of the mound is a hollow resulting from investigations in
the past.
Each of the three barrow mounds was surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which
has become filled in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork.
There are other similar barrows in this area of the Hambleton Hills. Many of
these lie in closely associated groups, particularly along the watersheds.
They provide evidence of territorial organisation marking divisions of land;
divisions which still remain as some parish or township boundaries.

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 these barrows have survived well. Significant
information about the original form of the barrows and the burials placed
within them will be preserved. Evidence of earlier land use will also survive
beneath the barrow mounds.
Together with other barrows in the area they are thought to also represent
territorial markers. Similar groups of monuments are also known across the
west and central areas of the North York Moors, providing an 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
Spratt, D A, 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1992), 98-122

Source: Historic England

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