Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow on Siss Cross Hill, 750m north west of Black Beck Swang

A Scheduled Monument in Lockwood, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.4907 / 54°29'26"N

Longitude: -0.9192 / 0°55'9"W

OS Eastings: 470108.614692

OS Northings: 511137.840978

OS Grid: NZ701111

Mapcode National: GBR QJ0H.SZ

Mapcode Global: WHF8N.VDG5

Entry Name: Round barrow on Siss Cross Hill, 750m north west of Black Beck Swang

Scheduled Date: 24 June 1971

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018779

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30193

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Lockwood

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 on the north eastern side of the summit of Siss Cross Hill, 750m north
west of Black Beck Swang. The barrow is the north easternmost of an alignment
of four barrows and a small enclosure on the summit of the hill which are in
turn all aligned with a large barrow, part of Robin Hood's Butts, 630m to the
north east.
The round barrow is intravisible with the others in the group and measures 17m
in diameter, and up to 0.8m high with a 3m by 2m central depression. No ditch
is visible around the barrow, although 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

Excavation of other round barrows in the region has 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 located on
or below the original ground surface, often with secondary burials 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.
The barrow 750m north west of Black Beck Swang is one of an important group of
barrows which includes an oval enclosure interpreted as an enclosed Bronze Age
urnfield, a nationally rare form of Bronze Age funerary monument.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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