Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wolf Pit round barrow at the southern end of Danby Rigg, 810m south east of Falcon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Glaisdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4229 / 54°25'22"N

Longitude: -0.9146 / 0°54'52"W

OS Eastings: 470522.626737

OS Northings: 503598.057654

OS Grid: NZ705035

Mapcode National: GBR QK19.S8

Mapcode Global: WHF91.X3N4

Entry Name: Wolf Pit round barrow at the southern end of Danby Rigg, 810m south east of Falcon Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 January 1963

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018740

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30162

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Glaisdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Danby with Castleton and Commondale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial
mound sited on a saddle over Danby Rigg between Raven Hill to the east and the
village of Botton to the west.
Wolf Pit survives as a quite steep sided, 35m diameter mound with a 10m
diameter flat top. The barrow is sited on slightly sloping ground, sloping
down to the north and west so that it is 1m high on the north side, but over
2m high on the southern and western sides. On the north western quadrant of
the top of the barrow there is a 7m diameter, 1.5m deep hollow which is
believed to have inspired the name of Wolf Pit. The base of the eastern side
of the barrow, next to the road, has been eroded by a trackway and other
roadside disturbance, revealing that the barrow is peat covered, and of a
mainly earthen construction with some stone.
Excavation of other barrows has shown that even where no encircling depression
is discernible on the modern ground surface, ditches immediately around the
outside of barrows frequently survive as infilled features, containing
additional archaeological deposits.

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

Wolf Pit is a good example of the larger type of round barrow found in
prominent locations on the moors. 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, normally with secondary
burials located within the body of the mound, which tend to survive
undisturbed even if the barrow has been investigated by 19th century
antiquarians. 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

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