Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow and cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End

A Scheduled Monument in Farndale East, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3266 / 54°19'35"N

Longitude: -0.9418 / 0°56'30"W

OS Eastings: 468917.163624

OS Northings: 492848.564621

OS Grid: SE689928

Mapcode National: GBR PLVD.WT

Mapcode Global: WHF9F.HJR1

Entry Name: Round barrow and cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 19 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018979

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32658

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Farndale East

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkbymoorside All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a concentration of
clearance cairns forming a small prehistoric cairnfield, along with an
associated burial mound. These features lie just east of Dale End Road on the
south west facing hillside above Hagg End.
The cairnfield includes at least a dozen stone clearance cairns concentrated
in an area of hillside measuring about 1ha. A few further small cairns are
widely scattered across the hillside beyond the boundaries of the monument,
but are considered too isolated to include within the scheduling. The round
barrow, which is marked on the 1:10,000 map as a cairn, lies in the south
eastern corner of the cairnfield. It appears to be mainly constructed of earth
with some stone, with exposed stones being typically less than 0.3m across,
and forms a 9m diameter mound standing up to 0.8m high. The barrow has a
central hollow 2m in diameter, 0.2m deep, and the edge of its south western
flank is cut into by a south facing grouse butt. Although there is no ditch
visible around the barrow, a 3m margin has been included to allow for its
likely survival. This is because excavations of other examples in the region
have shown that, even where no encircling depression is discernible on the
modern ground surface, ditches immediately around the outside of the mound
frequently survive as infilled features, containing additional archaeological
The cairns forming the cairnfield are all smaller than the round barrow. They
are also much more irregular in shape and are constructed with a higher
proportion of stone. The largest is 23m to the north west of the barrow. It is
roughly circular, 6m in diameter and 0.5m high and may also have been used for
burial, as it includes a rough arrangement of stone slabs which may be the
disturbed remains of a small cist, a box to contain a cremation burial. More
typically the cairns are 3m-4m across and around 0.3m high. Some are sited on
large earthfast boulders, like the cairn 20m to the north of the grouse butt
50m west of the round barrow, and all are at least partly covered in peat.
Some of the cairns can be seen to form a rough line; for instance, there are
four which run east-west approximately 80m north west of the round barrow. A
second line of cairns lies 10m to the north east of the disused grouse butt
marked on the 1:10,000 map, 100m NNW of the round barrow. These cairns are
different in that they merge into one another to form an 18m long bank up to
3m wide and 0.4m high which runs across the slope north-west to south-east.
The monument is crossed by a hollow trackway which runs parallel to Dale End
The non-earthfast stones of the grouse butts which lie within the area of the
monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC),
although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance
which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze
Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size,
content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the
development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the
prehistoric period.

Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic 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, covering
single or multiple burials. They occur in isolation or grouped into cemeteries
and often acted as a focus for later burials. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and burial practices. Often occupying prominent positions, their variation in
form and longevity as a monument type provide important information about the
diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of the surviving examples are considered worthy of
The cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End is a good example of its type and
retains a wide of variety well preserved features, including a round barrow
and a range of different types of clearance cairns which will retain important
information about the prehistoric land use of the area.

Source: Historic England

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