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Two Bronze Age round cairns and enclosed cremation cemetery 825m north west of Middleton Dean

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4983 / 55°29'53"N

Longitude: -2.0182 / 2°1'5"W

OS Eastings: 398948.646261

OS Northings: 622721.734706

OS Grid: NT989227

Mapcode National: GBR G4BV.VV

Mapcode Global: WH9ZW.Z248

Entry Name: Two Bronze Age round cairns and enclosed cremation cemetery 825m north west of Middleton Dean

Scheduled Date: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016242

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29312

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Ilderton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes two Bronze Age round cairns and an enclosed cremation
cemetery situated on gently undulating moorland. The northernmost cairn
measures 4.5m in diameter by 0.3m high with a central depression, possibly the
result of an unrecorded part excavation. The second cairn lies 27m SSE of the
first and measures 2m in diameter by 0.2m high. Both cairns are believed to be
funerary in origin. A sub circular enclosure lies 4m WSW of the most northerly
cairn. This enclosure measures 11m by 10.5m and is enclosed within an earth
and stone bank 1.5m wide and 0.2m high, it is interpreted as an enclosed
cremation cemetery.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

An enclosed Bronze Age urnfield is a burial ground in which cremations,
usually placed in cinerary urns, were interred within a circular enclosure up
to 30m in diameter. This was formed by either a ditch, a bank, or a bank
within a stone circle. There was normally an entrance or causeway allowing
access into the enclosure, where a central mound or standing stone is
sometimes found. Excavated examples are known to date to the Middle Bronze Age
between the 16th and 11th centuries BC. Enclosed Bronze Age urnfields are
largely found in the north of England, mainly in Yorkshire, Cumbria and
Northumberland, although their distribution also extends into Scotland. They
are a rare type of Bronze Age burial monument, with fewer than 50 identified
examples and provide an important insight into beliefs and social organisation
during this period. All positively identified examples are considered to be
nationally important.
The two Bronze Age round cairns and enclosed cremation cemetery north west
of Middleton Dean are well preserved and will retain significant
archaeological deposits. The monument contains evidence relating to
agricultural and funerary practices within, beneath and between the cairns and
enclosed cremation cemetery. The monument's importance is enhanced by the
survival of another ritual monument of similar date to the south east which
includes cairns and a cup and ring marked rock, which is the subject of a
separate scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
NT 92 SE 70,

Source: Historic England

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