Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow on Surgate Brow known as Swarth Howe

A Scheduled Monument in Harwood Dale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3331 / 54°19'59"N

Longitude: -0.5099 / 0°30'35"W

OS Eastings: 496989.719642

OS Northings: 494080.512437

OS Grid: SE969940

Mapcode National: GBR SLWB.DG

Mapcode Global: WHGBS.4CG1

Entry Name: Round barrow on Surgate Brow known as Swarth Howe

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019475

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34542

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Harwood Dale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hackness with Harwood Dale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow situated in a prominent position at the
top of the north eastern scarp edge of the Hackness Hills.
The barrow has an earth and stone mound which stands up to 1m high and
measures up to 16m in diameter. The centre of the mound has been hollowed out
by partial excavation in the past. Spoil from this excavation has been
deposited on the WNW edge of the mound, increasing the diameter of the mound
to 20m at this point.
The barrow lies in an area where there are many other prehistoric burial

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

Despite disturbance, the round barrow on Surgate Brow, known as Swarth Howe
has surviving archaeological deposits which will preserve information about
the original form of the barrow and the burials placed within it. Evidence for
earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath
the barrow mound.
The barrow is one of a pair and in a larger grouping of six which were
originally distributed along the top of Surgate Brow. The association with
other similar monuments provides an insight into the distribution of ritual
and funerary activity across the landscape during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Title: Forestry Commission Areas North York Moors Archaeological Survey
Source Date: 1992

Source: Historic England

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