Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Western of four round barrows known as Three Howes

A Scheduled Monument in Rosedale West Side, North Yorkshire

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.3443 / 54°20'39"N

Longitude: -0.9017 / 0°54'6"W

OS Eastings: 471495.814671

OS Northings: 494859.269773

OS Grid: SE714948

Mapcode National: GBR QL46.LG

Mapcode Global: WHF9G.32WF

Entry Name: Western of four round barrows known as Three Howes

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1967

Last Amended: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018992

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32651

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 large prehistoric
burial mound, with a smaller mound immediately to the west. The large barrow
is the westernmost of a group of four prominent round barrows known as Three
The round barrow is prominently sited on top of a broad, south east pointing
spur of Blakey Ridge, overlooking Rosedale to the north and east, and Hutton
and Loskey ridges to the south west. The barrow is on the highest point on the
spur and is one of the three barrows in the group which can be easily seen on
the skyline from a wide area. It appears to be mainly of earthen construction,
but with a quantity of stone typically 0.4m across and a kerbing of larger
stones observable around the north and south west flanks. It survives as a 23m
diameter mound standing to 2.4m on its northern side. The barrow shows
evidence of antiquarian excavation, with two well weathered trenches cut
through the south and east flanks to meet in a central 1.4m deep hollow. The
excavation spoil can be clearly seen spread to the south and east of the
barrow. Centred 12m to the west of the middle of the large barrow there is a
second mound 4m in diameter and 0.3m high. This does not have the appearance
of a spoil heap, and the adjacent flank of the large barrow is undisturbed.
Instead it is considered to be a close contemporary with the main barrow and
is thought to cover a secondary burial.
Although there is no obvious 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 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

Excavations of round barrows in the region have shown that they demonstrate a
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
Three Howes are an important and well preserved group of four barrows.
Although the westernmost barrow has been partly excavated, most of its
original volume survives undisturbed. The small, undisturbed mound on the
barrows's western margin adds to the importance of the monument.

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.