Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two burnt mounds 350m north east of Stotley Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Middleton in Teesdale, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6341 / 54°38'2"N

Longitude: -2.0456 / 2°2'44"W

OS Eastings: 397152.209802

OS Northings: 526555.071403

OS Grid: NY971265

Mapcode National: GBR GG4V.XL

Mapcode Global: WHB3Y.KS38

Entry Name: Two burnt mounds 350m north east of Stotley Grange

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019459

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34358

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Middleton in Teesdale

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Middleton-in-Teesdale

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument includes two burnt mounds north east of Stotley Grange. They are
close together on boggy rough grazing land east of an animal pen, one on each
side of Knottwell Sike. The more southerly mound is grass-covered, 12m in
diameter and about 0.8m high. It has a slight central hollow partly filled in
with modern builders' rubble. Molehills on the burnt mound contain burnt stone
and large quantities of charcoal.
The more northerly burnt mound is on the opposite side of Knottwell Sike. It
is grass and moss covered, measuring 6m by 7m and 1m high. It has a slight
central hollow marking the position of the trough.
There are at least two other burnt mounds in this pasture which are the
subjects of separate schedulings.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A burnt mound is an accumulation of burnt (fire-crazed) stones, ash and
charcoal, usually sited next to a river or lake. On excavation, some form of
trough or basin capable of holding water is normally found in close
association with the mound. The size of the mound can vary considerably; small
examples may be under 0.5m high and less than 10m in diameter, larger examples
may exceed 3m in height and be 35m in diameter. The shape of the mound ranges
from circular to crescentic. The associated trough or basin may be found
within the body of the mound or, more usually, immediately adjacent to it. At
sites which are crescentic in shape the trough is normally found within the
`arms' of the crescent and the mound has the appearance of having developed
around it.
The main phase of use of burnt mounds spans the Early, Middle and Late Bronze
Age, a period of around 1000 years. The function of the mounds has been a
matter of some debate, but it appears that cooking, using heated stones to
boil water in a trough or tank, is the most likely use. Some excavated sites
have revealed several phases of construction, indicating that individual sites
were used more than once.
Burnt mounds are found widely scattered throughout the British Isles, with
around 100 examples identified in England. As a rare monument type which
provides an insight into life in the Bronze Age, all well-preserved examples
will normally be identified as nationally important.

The two burnt mounds 350m north east of Stotley Grange survive well and will
retain important archaeological information concerning Bronze Age beliefs and
practices. There are several other burnt mounds in the locality, and together
they form part of a more extensive prehistoric landscape in Upper Teesdale
which includes burnt mounds, cairns, field systems and hut circles.

Source: Historic England


burnt mounds near Stotley Grange, Laurie, T, Burnt Mounds, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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