Ancient Monuments

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Three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Helmsley, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2452 / 54°14'42"N

Longitude: -1.0472 / 1°2'49"W

OS Eastings: 462187.881484

OS Northings: 483697.160401

OS Grid: SE621836

Mapcode National: GBR PM4B.2Z

Mapcode Global: WHF9R.WKJF

Entry Name: Three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1968

Last Amended: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019345

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32674

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Helmsley

Built-Up Area: Helmsley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Helmsley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes three round barrows and their associated buried remains,
located to the east of Helmsley, south of Linkfoot Lane. The round barrows are
regularly spaced, each 70m apart from the next, in a north-south line. They
occupy the centre of a slightly raised area of ground above and to the east of
Spittal Beck, on the north side of the River Rye. None show any evidence of
archaeological excavation or damage by modern farming practices. The
northernmost barrow is the largest, standing up to 1.3m high and 27m in
diameter. Its profile is quite uniform and regular with a slightly flat top
some 5m-6m in diameter. The middle barrow stands 1m high and 17m in diameter
with hints of a surrounding ditch up to 6m wide. Its profile is also quite
regular, but has been slightly disturbed by rabbits in the past. The
southernmost barrow is the smallest, standing 0.4m high and 15m in
diameter. Its south eastern third is crossed by a hedge line with a narrow
ditch up to 0.4m wide running along the north western side of the hedge. The
areas between the barrows are included within the monument because excavation
has shown that such areas frequently retain associated features such as
additional contemporary and later human burials without covering mounds.
Excavation of other examples of round barrows in the region have also 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.
Margins to allow for such infilled ditches up to 6m wide are thus also
included within the monument.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features is included.

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 three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge are very well-preserved
and do not appear to have been disturbed by antiquarian excavation which has
been the case with a large proportion of the barrows in the area.

Source: Historic England

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