Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow 560m south west of High Thorgill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rosedale West Side, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.358 / 54°21'28"N

Longitude: -0.9208 / 0°55'14"W

OS Eastings: 470230.777603

OS Northings: 496366.682172

OS Grid: SE702963

Mapcode National: GBR QL01.FK

Mapcode Global: WHF97.TQQG

Entry Name: Round barrow 560m south west of High Thorgill Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1967

Last Amended: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018987

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32646

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Rosedale West Side

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Lastingham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial
mound. It is located 560m south west of High Thorgill Farm, to the east of the
scarp below Blakey Ridge.
The round barrow is located centrally on a slight spur which extends north
eastwards from Blakey Ridge, set back 20m-30m from the sharp break of slope
down into Rosedale. From it, the Three Howes round barrows to the south east
and Blakey Howe to the north west can be seen, but not Pike Howe to the west.
However, it is not easily intervisible with these barrows, being only a
maximum of 10m in diameter and standing 0.4m high. It is mainly constructed of
earth with some stone and shows evidence of antiquarian excavation, with a
central hollow 5m in diameter at its top and 1m diameter at the base. Although
there is no ditch visible around the barrow, a 3m margin surrounding the mound
is 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 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

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
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 majority of round barrows in the region were dug into by 19th century
antiquarians in search of burials and artifacts, leaving behind a central
depression as evidence of their work. However excavations in the latter half
of the 20th century have shown that round barrows typically contain
archaeological information that survives earlier digging. These excavations
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 which were frequently missed by
antiquarian excavators.
The round barrow 560m south west of High Thorgill Farm will retain
archaeological deposits. Its relatively unusual position for the area, close
to the scarp edge rather than on a watershed or other more prominent
location, gives the barrow additional interest.

Source: Historic England

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