Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and two round barrows 500m north west of Sleddale

A Scheduled Monument in Guisborough, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.5017 / 54°30'6"N

Longitude: -1.0514 / 1°3'5"W

OS Eastings: 461527.642967

OS Northings: 512237.894706

OS Grid: NZ615122

Mapcode National: GBR PJ3D.50

Mapcode Global: WHF8L.T3JQ

Entry Name: Cairnfield and two round barrows 500m north west of Sleddale

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016576

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32023

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Guisborough

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Guisborough St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a small cairnfield and two adjacent round barrows
situated on the south east flank of Codhill Heights overlooking Sleddale.
The cairnfield is visible as eight cairns distributed across a terrace
orientated north to south along the hillslope. The cairns are sub-circular
mounds constructed from small and medium sized stones, and two are constructed
around large erratic boulders. They vary in size from 3m to 4m in diameter and
stand between 0.3m and 0.5m high. They are field clearance cairns which are
the result of clearing the ground to improve it for agriculture. Some of the
cairns have suffered disturbance from burrowing animals.
At the south end of the cairnfield are the two barrows. Both barrows have an
earth and stone mound which was originally surrounded by a kerb of stones to
define the barrow and support the mound. However, over the years some of these
stones have been taken away or buried by soil slipping off the mound.
The south western barrow mound is well defined with a flat top. It is 9m in
diameter and stands up to 0.9m high. Kerb stones are visible on all sides
except at the south east. In the centre of the mound there is a hollow caused
by excavations in the past. The second barrow lies 30m to the north east. It
has a mound 6m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. There are two boulders
on the south side which were part of the kerb. A footpath passes in a north to
south direction between the two barrows and through the cairnfield. The
monument 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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC),
although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance
which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze
Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size,
content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the
development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the
prehistoric period.

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. In northern England they are
sometimes found as components of cairnfields. 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 organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities.
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 for earlier land use will also survive
beneath the barrow mounds. Significant information about the form and
development of the cairnfield will also survive and evidence for the nature of
Bronze Age agriculture and earlier land use will be preserved between and
beneath the cairns. The relationship between the cairnfield and the two
barrows will provide evidence for the diversity and development of social and
ritual practice.
The cairnfield and barrows 500m north west of Sleddale are situated within an
area which includes further burial monuments, field systems and cairnfields.
Associated groups of monuments such as these offer important scope for the
study of the distribution and development of prehistoric activity across the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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