Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts

A Scheduled Monument in Cropton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.295 / 54°17'42"N

Longitude: -0.8232 / 0°49'23"W

OS Eastings: 476688.596097

OS Northings: 489458.595629

OS Grid: SE766894

Mapcode National: GBR QLPS.K4

Mapcode Global: WHF9P.B97Q

Entry Name: Round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1973

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018408

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30148

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cropton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Cropton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial
mound 350m north west of Hen Flatts.
Hen Flatts round barrow survives as a 24m diameter mound rising to 0.5m. It
stands just down slope on the north side of the Cawthorn ridge. In 1954 it was
described as being pear shaped, measuring 23.5m east-west, 18m north-south
with a thinner western end 13m in diameter, being stonier at its eastern end.
In the winter of 1947-48 horse bones and burnt stones were brought to the
surface during ploughing together with a couple of leaf shaped arrowheads. The
barrow is one of a series of barrows on the ridge with two further examples
lying 110m and 180m to the ESE which are the subject of separate schedulings.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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

Although the round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts is under plough,
important archaeological information is considered to have survived as
demonstrated by excavation at other similar sites. Where earthwork mounds can
still be identified, the prehistoric ground surface tends to be below the
plough horizon, thus the primary burials will be undisturbed by modern
agriculture. Additionally, any encircling ditch will survive as an infilled
feature. Excavations of round barrows in the region have shown that they
demonstrate a very wide range of burial rites from simple scatters of cremated
material to coffin inhumations and cremations contained in urns, typically
dating to the Bronze Age. A common factor is that barrows were normally used
for more than one burial and that the primary burial was frequently on or
below the original ground surface, often with secondary burials located within
the body of the mound. Most barrows include a small number of grave goods.
These are often small pottery food vessels, but stone, bone, jet and bronze
items have also occasionally been found. Shallow ditches and/or stone kerbs
immediately encircling the mounds are also quite common.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 113

Source: Historic England

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