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Round barrow 200m west of Airy Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Skelton and Brotton, Redcar and Cleveland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5419 / 54°32'30"N

Longitude: -1.0054 / 1°0'19"W

OS Eastings: 464442.284415

OS Northings: 516747.947181

OS Grid: NZ644167

Mapcode National: GBR PHFX.4M

Mapcode Global: WHF8F.J3FF

Entry Name: Round barrow 200m west of Airy Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1978

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016927

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31992

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Skelton and Brotton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Skelton with Upleatham All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes a round barrow situated in a prominent hilltop position
at the northern limit of the North York Moors. The barrow has a flat topped
earth and stone mound standing 0.6m high. It is round in shape and 12.5m in
diameter. Records show that it was originally surrounded by a kerb of stones
which defined the barrow and supported the mound, one of which was decorated
with six cup marks.
However, none of these stones are now visible, having been taken away or
buried by soil slipping from the mound. In the centre of the mound there is a
slight hollow caused by excavations in the past. The south edge of the mound
is clipped by a fence and hedge line and to the south of the hedge the mound
has been totally removed by ploughing. There is an Ordnance Survey
trigonometrical point at the south west corner of the mound. The barrow was
originally one of at least two, with the second, 200m to the west, now being
ploughed out. It lies on the edge of an area rich in prehistoric monuments,
including further barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.
The fence line across the southern edge of the mound is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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
protection.

Despite limited disturbance, the barrow 200m west of Airy Hill Farm survives
well. Significant information about the original form of the barrow and the
burials placed within it will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use will
also survive beneath the barrow mound.
Prehistoric rock art is found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of upland
Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in Northumberland,
Durham and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the
`cup and ring' marking, where expanses of small cup-like hollows are pecked
into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more
`rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the rings may also
exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can also
exist in isolation from cup and ring decoration. Other shapes and patterns
also occur, but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups,
or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic
and Bronze Age periods (c.2800-500 BC) and provide one of our most important
insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains
unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols.
Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the
symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials or
incorporated into burial mounds. Around 800 examples of prehistoric rock art
have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic reflection
of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been overgrown or
destroyed in activities such as quarrying. All positively identified
prehistoric rock art sites exhibiting a significant group of designs normally
will be identified as nationally important.
The barrow is one of several which include decorated cup marked stones,
distributed along the northern and eastern periphery of the North York Moors.
As such it can be dated to the last part of the Neolithic period or Early
Bronze Age, earlier than many similar barrows found on the central moorland.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994)
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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