Ancient Monuments

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Ring cairn 240m north east of Old Quickening Cote

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.3534 / 55°21'12"N

Longitude: -2.2017 / 2°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 387306.184286

OS Northings: 606611.360599

OS Grid: NT873066

Mapcode National: GBR F62J.4S

Mapcode Global: WHB0D.4PTX

Entry Name: Ring cairn 240m north east of Old Quickening Cote

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017726

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28563

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a ring cairn of Bronze Age date, situated
on a south facing spur of Inner Hill. The elevated situation affords extensive
views in all directions except the north to which the ground rises steeply.
The ring cairn, which measures a total of 15m in diameter, is visible as a
low circular annular bank on average 2m wide and 0.25m high. The annular bank
encloses a central space which measures 11m in diameter and the low earthworks
visible within the interior are thought to cover the remains of several
burials.

MAP EXTRACT
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

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn near Old Quickening Cote is reasonably well preserved and
retains significant archaeological deposits. It is an example of a relatively
rare monument type and will add greatly to our understanding of Bronze Age
funerary practice.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Charlton, B, Fifty centuries of Peace and War, (1996), 28

Source: Historic England

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