Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor Cottage Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Harwood Dale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3596 / 54°21'34"N

Longitude: -0.5133 / 0°30'47"W

OS Eastings: 496708.294498

OS Northings: 497023.327248

OS Grid: SE967970

Mapcode National: GBR SLV0.NZ

Mapcode Global: WHGBL.2PV7

Entry Name: Round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor Cottage Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019768

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34672

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 cairn situated on a gentle south west-facing
slope. It lies on Middle Jurassic sandstone towards the eastern edge of the
North York Moors.
The cairn has a stony mound which stands up to 0.5m high. Formerly it had a
diameter of 10m but this has been reduced by forestry ploughing at the edges
so that now it measures only 6m in diameter. The full extent of the original
mound is included in the area of protection. The round cairn lies in an area
where there are many other prehistoric monuments, including funerary and
ritual monuments as well as field systems and clearance cairns.

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 cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Despite disturbance, the round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor
Cottage Farm, has surviving archaeological deposits which will preserve
significant information about the original form of the cairn and the burials
placed within it. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary
environment will also survive beneath the stony mound. The cairn was
originally one of four distributed across Cowgate Rigg. It is situated within
an area which also includes other groups of burial monuments as well as field
systems and clearance cairns. The association with similar monuments provides
insight into the distribution of ritual and funerary activity across the
landscape during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Title: 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey 25" sheet 62/10
Source Date: 1928

Title: Forestry Commission Areas North York Moors Archaeological Survey
Source Date: 1992
Site 5.17

Source: Historic England

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