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Two Iron Age round barrows and a Bronze Age round barrow, 340m north east of a triangulation pillar, on Highwood Brow

A Scheduled Monument in Broxa-cum-Troutsdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2885 / 54°17'18"N

Longitude: -0.5473 / 0°32'50"W

OS Eastings: 494663.205709

OS Northings: 489066.736214

OS Grid: SE946890

Mapcode National: GBR SLMV.9G

Mapcode Global: WHGBY.KGMR

Entry Name: Two Iron Age round barrows and a Bronze Age round barrow, 340m north east of a triangulation pillar, on Highwood Brow

Scheduled Date: 5 August 1933

Last Amended: 20 July 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017101

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32501

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Broxa-cum-Troutsdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes two adjacent small Iron Age round barrows and a larger
Bronze Age round barrow situated in a prominent position at the top of the
north-facing scarp edge of the Tabular Hills.
The small barrow to the WNW has an earth and stone mound standing up to 0.4m
high. The second small barrow is situated 20m to the ESE. It has an earth and
stone mound standing up to 0.7m high. Originally both barrows were round in
shape, but forestry ploughing has truncated the edges to give a more irregular
outline which is up to 6m across.
The larger barrow is situated 35m to the south west. It has an earth and stone
mound standing up to 1m high. It is round in shape and measures 14m in
diameter. In the centre of the mound and extending to the east there is a
hollow caused by excavations in the past.
The barrows lie within a dense concentration of prehistoric burial monuments
in an area which also includes the remains of prehistoric settlement and land

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
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

Square barrow cemeteries are funerary monuments of the middle Iron Age, which
contain mainly square barrows but occasionally contain round barrows. They
date from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these
monuments are found between the river Humber and the southern slopes of the
North Yorkshire Moors, but a wider distribution has also been identified,
principally through aerial photography, spreading through the river valleys of
the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrows have been recorded; in
addition, a further 250 sites consisting of single barrows or small groups of
barrows have been identified.
Square barrows were constructed as earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and
covering one or more bodies. Slight banks around the outer edge of the ditch
have been noted in some examples. Despite the term `square', barrows can vary
in shape. The majority are truly square, although many have rounded corners
and some are more rectangular in plan. A few, however, occurring both in
square barrow cemeteries and individually, are actually round in plan, but
distinguishable from earlier Bronze Age round barrows by their smaller size.
The main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or
oval grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound
are also known.
A number of different types of burials have been identified, accompanied by
grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include
the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the
body of the deceased. Some Iron Age barrows have been associated with an
unusual burial ritual of `spearing the corpse'.
Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and
levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments,
although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive
beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations
in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important
information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these
Iron Age communities and their development over time. all examples of square
barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion
of the remainder, are considered worthy of national importance and worthy of
The Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of
prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which
includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round
and square barrows. The very large number of burial monuments includes
particularly rare examples of square barrows surviving as upstanding
earthworks, and these will preserve a range of evidence within and upon the
flat-topped mounds which does not survive on the plough-flattened examples
elsewhere. The square barrows in this area form an important group of this
monument type which will provide valuable insight into cultural development
during the Iron Age. The spatial and chronological relationships between the
round and square barrows in the Wykeham Forest area, and between both types of
barrow and other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for
understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern
Despite disturbance, the two Iron Age round barrows and a Bronze Age round
barrow, 340m north east of a triangulation pillar on Highwood Brow have
survived well. Significant information will be preserved about the original
form of the barrows and the burials placed within and beneath them. Evidence
for earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mounds.
The barrows belong to a group of at least eight burial monuments spread along
the top of Highwood Brow and such clusters provide important insight into the
development of ritual and funerary practice during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mytum, H, 'Moorland Monuments' in Iron Age square barrows on the North York Moors, , Vol. 101, (1995), 31-37
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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