Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Burnt mound at Knott Well 370m north east of Stotley Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Middleton in Teesdale, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6348 / 54°38'5"N

Longitude: -2.046 / 2°2'45"W

OS Eastings: 397126.579553

OS Northings: 526627.239004

OS Grid: NY971266

Mapcode National: GBR GG4V.VB

Mapcode Global: WHB3Y.JRXS

Entry Name: Burnt mound at Knott Well 370m north east of Stotley Grange

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019460

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34359

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 a large, prominent, burnt mound at Knott Well, which is
a spring in rough grazing land north east of Stotley Grange. The mound
measures 14m by 13m and is 2m high. It is partly grass and moss covered, but
patches of burnt stone are exposed in its sides. There is a circular hollow
area in its north side with a diameter of 7m. A second hollow nearer the
spring probably represents the position of the trough.
There are at least three 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 burnt mound at Knott Well 370m north east of Stotley Grange survives 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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