Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Pike Howe round barrow on the southern end of Three Howes Rigg

A Scheduled Monument in Danby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4766 / 54°28'35"N

Longitude: -0.9422 / 0°56'31"W

OS Eastings: 468644.606843

OS Northings: 509545.803605

OS Grid: NZ686095

Mapcode National: GBR PJVP.T0

Mapcode Global: WHF8N.HRL0

Entry Name: Pike Howe round barrow on the southern end of Three Howes Rigg

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1970

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018742

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30164

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Danby

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 at the southern end of Three Howes Rigg, 1.4km north of Castleton.
A group of five burial mounds forming a round barrow cemetery centred higher
up on the Rigg, 1km to the NNW, is the subject of a separate scheduling.
Pike Howe round barrow survives as a 9m diameter stone and earth mound,
standing up to 0.5m high topped by a modern cairn of stones. It is surrounded
by a largely infilled ditch 4m-5m wide with a slight, 1m wide external kerbing
of earthfast stones, some exposed, most under a thin peat covering. The
barrow is sited on level ground just north of the top of the scarp above the
River Esk, at the southern end of Three Howes Rigg. It is clearly intervisible
with the round barrow cemetery to the north, but is behind the skyline when
climbing up the hill from the River Esk.

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

Pike Howe is a good example of the smaller type of round barrow found 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, 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. These are normally
identified by excavation; Pike Howe is thus of particular note.

Source: Historic England

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