Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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One of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad Hole

A Scheduled Monument in Bransdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3761 / 54°22'33"N

Longitude: -1.0294 / 1°1'46"W

OS Eastings: 463142.105594

OS Northings: 498275.736963

OS Grid: SE631982

Mapcode National: GBR PK7V.X2

Mapcode Global: WHF96.581K

Entry Name: One of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad Hole

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1968

Last Amended: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019518

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32698

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bransdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkbymoorside All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the earthwork and associated buried remains of the
smallest and least prominent of a group of four prehistoric burial mounds
known as Three Howes. A closely spaced pair of mounds lie centred 110m to the
south east and the fourth barrow lies 110m to the NNW, all of which are the
subject of separate schedulings. Unlike the other three barrows in the group,
the monument does not form a prominent skyline feature, being relatively low,
although it has fine all round views, especially down Bransdale to the south
west. All four round barrows are sited on the western, highest side of the
plateau forming the highest part of Rudland Rigg. The monument is sited on
level ground, just east of the break of slope down into Bransdale. It survives
as an 11m diameter mound 0.6m high with a 2.5m diameter concave hollow in its
top which is a maximum of 0.3m deep. Excavation of other examples of round
barrows 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. A margin to allow for such an infilled
ditch up to 2m wide around the barrow is thus also included within the

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 majority of round barrows in the region were dug into by 19th century
antiquarians in search of burials and artifacts, leaving behind a central
depression as evidence of their work. However excavations in the latter half
of the 20th century have shown that round barrows typically contain
archaeological information that survives earlier digging. Secondary burials
tend to be located within the main body of the mound and sometimes one of
these was mistaken for the primary burial which was usual the goal of the
antiquarian. Even when the primary burial has been excavated, further
secondary burials often survive in the undisturbed surrounding part of the
mound and infilled ditch. Additional valuable information about the mound's
construction and the local environment at the time of its construction will
also survive antiquarian excavation.
This one of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad
Hole is one of an important group of relatively well-preserved round barrows
which will retain important information about Bronze Age society.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
McDonnell, J, A History of Helmsley Rievaulx and District, (1963), 379

Source: Historic England

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