Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn on the summit of Heddon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Roddam, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4765 / 55°28'35"N

Longitude: -1.995 / 1°59'41"W

OS Eastings: 400414.975

OS Northings: 620299.89

OS Grid: NU004202

Mapcode National: GBR G5H3.WN

Mapcode Global: WH9ZX.BL8Z

Entry Name: Round cairn on the summit of Heddon Hill

Scheduled Date: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019932

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34232

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Roddam

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated
on the summit of Heddon Hill with a panoramic view. The cairn is intervisible
with others on Dod Hill to the west. The round cairn, which has been partly
disturbed by the construction of an Ordnance Survey triangulation point in its
north east sector, is built of loosely packed stone and earth and has a kerb
around its edge. It measures 4m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of
0.2m. The round cairn is one of a group of prehistoric sites on Heddon Hill
which are the subject of separate schedulings.
The triangulation point is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it is included.

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.

Although the round cairn on the summit of Heddon Hill has had a triangulation
point built on it, the extent of disturbance is limited and archaeological
deposits survive well. It will provide evidence of burials and will contribute
to our knowledge of funerary practice and ritual activity during the Bronze
Age. The structure of the covering cairn will reveal details of the manner of
its construction, and the retrieval of pottery and stone or metal implements
from the cairn and the ground surface beneath it will indicate the duration of
its use. Evidence relating to the wider Bronze Age environment is also likely
to survive in the form of pollen grains. The importance of this cairn is
enhanced by its intervisibility with other cairns on nearby hills as well as
by the survival of other well-preserved archaeological sites on Heddon Hill.

Source: Historic England


NU 02 SW 129,

Source: Historic England

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