Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow south east of California Belt, 270m east of Fox Head

A Scheduled Monument in Hutton Buscel, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2713 / 54°16'16"N

Longitude: -0.5292 / 0°31'45"W

OS Eastings: 495880.5254

OS Northings: 487182.009502

OS Grid: SE958871

Mapcode National: GBR SMR1.7M

Mapcode Global: WHGBY.VW6X

Entry Name: Round barrow south east of California Belt, 270m east of Fox Head

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1960

Last Amended: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017166

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33737

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hutton Buscel

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hutton Buscell St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow situated on level ground towards the
northern edge of the Tabular Hills.
The barrow is visible as an earthen mound which stands up to 0.3m high and has
been spread by ploughing. The barrow was excavated by T Brewster in 1965. The
excavations showed that the barrow mound had a diameter of 18m and was
surrounded by a kerb of stones to define it, many of which were decorated with
cup marks and linear markings. The stones are no longer visible, most having
been excavated, but some remain buried in the ground. It was also shown that
the mound was constructed above an inhumation, sealed by a limestone platform,
and that it contained four secondary cremation burials.
The barrow lies 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.
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 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

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 (2800-c.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 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 spatial and chronological relationships between the
round and square barrows in this 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 Yorkshire.
Although it has been excavated, the round barrow south east of California
Belt, 270m east of Fox Head retains some of its decorated kerb stones which
will provide evidence for the diversity of prehistoric `art' on the North York
Moors. The barrow is one of several which include decorated cup marked stones,
distributed along the northern and eastern periphery of the North York Moors
and as such it can be dated earlier than many similar barrows found on the
central moorland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brewster, T C M, Finney, A E, Excavation of seven round barrows on the moorlands of N E Yorks, (1995), 6-10
Lee, G E, Wykeham Archaeological Survey, (1991)
Source Date: 1999

Source: Historic England

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