Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow on Skipwith Common, 800m south east of Adamson Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Skipwith, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8312 / 53°49'52"N

Longitude: -1.0097 / 1°0'34"W

OS Eastings: 465275.857373

OS Northings: 437669.346899

OS Grid: SE652376

Mapcode National: GBR PSD4.6C

Mapcode Global: WHFCQ.GYFT

Entry Name: Round barrow on Skipwith Common, 800m south east of Adamson Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1938

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018604

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30180

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Skipwith

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Skipwith St Helen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a pair of round
barrows on the northern edge of Skipwith Common due south of a shelter belt of
trees called South Moor Belt.
The barrows on Skipwith Common have been investigated on a number of occasions
by antiquarians. Their interest was concentrated mainly on the square barrow
cemetery to the west, although the centre of the barrow, 800m south east of
Adamson Farm has a depression which is the result of an antiquarian
excavation. No excavations of the four round barrows on the common are
recorded. However, Elgee in his 1933 `Archaeology of Yorkshire' notes the find
of a Middle Bronze Age cremation urn on Skipwith Common. It is thought that
this would have been removed from one of the round barrows, possibly by
William Proctor and the Yorkshire Antiquities Club in 1849.
The round barrow survives as an 8m-10m diameter mound standing up to a maximum
of 0.8m above the bottom of a 2m-3m wide ditch on its western side. It is
approximately 0.6m high compared to the general surrounding ground surface to
the east and west. The ditch encircles the mound and survives as an infilled
feature around the rest of the circuit.
The mound is one of a group of four Bronze Age round barrows surviving as
upstanding earthworks on Skipwith Common. Centred 1km to the west, there is a
square barrow cemetery of Iron Age date which also survives as upstanding

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

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

The barrow 800m south east of Adamson Farm, one of a group on Skipwith Common,
has escaped disturbance from intensive agriculture which has affected the
majority of sites in this region. Excavation of similar sites elsewhere have
shown that round barrows demonstrate a 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.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Elgee, F, The Archaeology of Yorkshire, (1933)
Typescript report, MAP Archaeological Consultancy, Skipwith Common Presentation Survey, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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