Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Southern of four round barrows known as Three Howes

A Scheduled Monument in Rosedale West Side, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3429 / 54°20'34"N

Longitude: -0.9008 / 0°54'2"W

OS Eastings: 471555.27705

OS Northings: 494703.013605

OS Grid: SE715947

Mapcode National: GBR QL46.SZ

Mapcode Global: WHF9G.439J

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

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1967

Last Amended: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018993

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32652

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. The barrow is the southernmost of a group of four prominent
round barrows known as Three Howes. The round barrow is prominently sited on
top of a broad, south east pointing spur of Blakey Ridge, overlooking Spaunton
Moor to the south, Hutton and Loskey ridges to the south west, with Rosedale
to the north and east. The barrow is just south of the highest point on the
spur, sited on a slight natural rise, 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 an outer kerbing of large stone
slabs, some over 1m long, and a pile of smaller stones on its south west
flank. It survives as a 25m diameter mound, 2.4m high, with a 6m diameter
central hollow up to 1.3m deep linked to the eastern edge of the barrow by a
narrow trench. 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
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
Three Howes are an important and well preserved group of four barrows.
Although the southernmost barrow has been partly excavated, most of its
original volume survives undisturbed and will contain valuable archaeological
information, typically including secondary burials.

Source: Historic England

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