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Ewden Beck round barrow cemetery and cross-dyke

A Scheduled Monument in Bradfield, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.4636 / 53°27'49"N

Longitude: -1.6439 / 1°38'37"W

OS Eastings: 423740.838917

OS Northings: 396379.370421

OS Grid: SK237963

Mapcode National: GBR JXYD.X3

Mapcode Global: WHCC2.Q6DK

Entry Name: Ewden Beck round barrow cemetery and cross-dyke

Scheduled Date: 4 August 1933

Last Amended: 4 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018590

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13249

County: Sheffield

Civil Parish: Bradfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bradfield St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The site lies south of Ewden Beck and comprises a Bronze Age round-barrow
cemetery bisected by a cross-dyke. The cemetery is composed of upward of a
hundred small round barrows, varying between c.0.2m and 1m high and rarely
more than c.3m in diameter with the barrows concentrated more to the north
than the south. The arrangement is a random mixture of individual barrows,
pairs, close and dispersed groups and lines of three or more. The average
distance between groups is c.20m whilst, within groups, the distance between
examples is between 1m and 10m. Although overgrown with bracken, heather and
bilberry, the cemetery appears superficially to consist largely of bowl-
barrows, but also includes a few which may be ring-cairns. To the east of
the group, a few examples have been partially damaged by the creation of a
track but nevertheless retain enough of their original character and
material to be included in the scheduling. The cemetery is bisected by a
linear earthwork, c.1200m long, known locally as the Broomhead Dyke. The
relationship between this linear earthwork and the cemetery is not yet
fully understood, but it is clear that the barrows concentrate more to the
north than to the south of this feature. The earthwork consists of a single v-
shaped ditch, up to 2m deep in places and averaging 3m wide, with traces of a
bank on the south side. The monument is a Bronze Age land or territorial
division of the type known as a cross-dyke. The wall and fence along the top
of the cross-dyke are excluded from the scheduling though the ground
underneath is included. The site is associated with a separate monument known
as Ewden Beck ring-cairn, c.100m north of the cemetery.

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 barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (2000 -700bc). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of 30 or more round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries. They exhibit considerable
diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several types of
barrow. Where large scale excavation has been undertaken, contemporary or
later `flat' burials are frequently found between the barrow mounds. Such
barrow cemeteries are found widely across both lowland and upland Britain. In
many cases, and as here, they are found in close association with other
broadly contemporary monument types. They are often found in prominent
locations which makes them a major historic element in the modern landscape
whilst their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
Prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
worthly of protection.
Cross-dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.20km and
1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to
one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across
ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on
aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation
and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction
spans the millenium from the middle Bronze Age, although they may have been
re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as
territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within
communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle
droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross-dykes are one of the few monument
types which illustrate how land was divided up in the Prehistoric period. They
are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in
the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well
preserved examples will merit statutory protection. Both the cross-dyke and
round barrow cemetery at Ewden Beck survive well and will retain
considerable information on the original form and use of the monuments. They
are considered to be the last surviving evidence for more extensive
exploitation of this area during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912)
Smith (Archaeologist - Peak District NP, Re John Barnatt's views on the site,

Source: Historic England

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