Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow on Cow Hill, 410m south west of Scratch Alley

A Scheduled Monument in Lythe, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.5226 / 54°31'21"N

Longitude: -0.7172 / 0°43'1"W

OS Eastings: 483128.041222

OS Northings: 514896.851

OS Grid: NZ831148

Mapcode National: GBR RJF4.JK

Mapcode Global: WHF8K.YLN9

Entry Name: Round barrow on Cow Hill, 410m south west of Scratch Alley

Scheduled Date: 28 October 1968

Last Amended: 24 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016538

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32477

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Lythe

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Lythe with Sandsend

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow situated in a prominent hill top position
on the north edge of the North York Moors.
The barrow has an earth and stone mound standing up to 1m high. It is round in
shape and measures 18m in diameter. In the centre of the mound there is a
hollow caused by excavations in the past.
The barrow was originally one of at least nine, only three of which survive as
earthworks, the remainder having been ploughed out.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features is included.

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 disturbance, significant information about the original form of the
round barrow on Cow Hill, 410m south west of Scratch Alley and the burials
placed within it will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use will also
survive beneath the barrow mound.
Together with other barrows in the area, it is thought to represent a
territorial marker. Similar groups of monuments are also 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 land division 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 in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Fairless, K, AM107, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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