Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow and cup and ring marked rock, 600m south west of Stoupe Brow Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4022 / 54°24'7"N

Longitude: -0.5196 / 0°31'10"W

OS Eastings: 496199.396112

OS Northings: 501752.646324

OS Grid: NZ961017

Mapcode National: GBR SKTJ.9Q

Mapcode Global: WHGBC.ZMR3

Entry Name: Round barrow and cup and ring marked rock, 600m south west of Stoupe Brow Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1934

Last Amended: 5 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019709

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34390

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Fylingdales

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ravenscar St Hilda

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow and adjacent cup and ring marked
stone situated on the eastern edge of Howdale Moor. This is the
easternmost extent of the sandstone, heather covered moor characteristic
of the North York Moors. Today the moor is little used but archaeological
evidence indicates that this has not always been the case. The prehistoric
period in particular saw extensive agricultural use of the area. It was
also used for burials and activities associated with the carving of
patterns on exposed rock. Remains of these activities survive today. The
barrow has an earth and stone mound standing 0.4m high measuring 10m in
diameter. The centre of the mound has been partially excavated in the
past. The mound is surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which has been
filled in and is no longer visible as an earthwork.

The cup and ring marked stone lies 8m to the south west of the mound. Carved
onto the upper face of the earthfast stone, which measures 1.1m by 0.5m, the
pattern includes a single cup and three concentric rings. The carved rock is
thought to be broadly contemporary with the barrow although the full nature of
their relationship is not fully understood. The rock is near to a cluster of
similar carved rocks in a prominent position 500m to the south east.

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

Prehistoric rock art is found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of
upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in
Northumberland, Durham and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form
of decoration is the `cup and ring' marking where expanses of small
cup-like hollows are pecked into the surface of the rock. These cups may
be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from
the cup through the `rings' may also exist, providing the design with a
`tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can also exist in isolation from cup and
ring decoration. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less
frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover
extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and
Bronze Age periods (c.2800-500 BC) and provide one of our most important
insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains
unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols.

Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the
symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials
or incorporated in burial mounds. Around 800 examples of prehistoric
rock-art have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic
reflection of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been
overgrown or destroyed in activities such as quarrying. All positively
identified prehistoric rock art sites exhibiting a significant group of
designs will normally be identified as nationally important.

The barrow has survived well, so significant information about its
original form and the burials placed within it will be preserved.
Evidence of earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mound.
The cup and ring marked stone also survives well. Such monuments are rare
in the North York Moors and this example is part of a concentration of
similar carved rocks on Howdale Moor. Taken with the surrounding rock art
and other prehistoric sites, the monument offers important scope for
understanding the changing patterns of ritual and social activities in the
area during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bradley, R, Rock Art and the Prehistory of Atlantic Europe, (1997)
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of North East Yorkshire, (1997), 1-38

Source: Historic England

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