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Round barrow cemetery (including the barrows known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ebberston and Yedingham, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3022 / 54°18'7"N

Longitude: -0.6131 / 0°36'47"W

OS Eastings: 490350.146197

OS Northings: 490505.730547

OS Grid: SE903905

Mapcode National: GBR SL5P.2K

Mapcode Global: WHGBX.K486

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery (including the barrows known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1969

Last Amended: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019936

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34678

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Ebberston and Yedingham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ebberston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery which is situated in a prominent
position between the heads of Staindale and Deep Dale, towards the northern
scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. It lies within two separate areas of
protection divided by Dalby Forest Drive.
The cemetery has seven round barrows which are in a linear arrangement,
oriented NNW to SSE; six are in a direct alignment, although the second from
the north is offset slightly to the east of the line. They are spaced between
45m and 60m apart. The seventh barrow is situated to the immediate east of the
third barrow from the north. The most northerly barrow has an earth and stone
mound which measures 30m in diameter and stands up to 2.2m high. The other
barrows have earthen mounds which measure between 12m and 23m in diameter and
stand between 0.3m and 2.1m high. The three most northerly barrows are the
largest and most prominent and are known as the Three Howes. The four most
southerly barrows have been reduced in size by ploughing; formerly their
diameters were between 15m and 30m. The barrow to the east of the main
alignment is the most affected by plough reduction and is visible only as a
slight rise up to 0.3m high. Partial excavation in the past has left a hollow
in the centre of four of the seven barrow mounds. Any burials which were
placed in the area between the barrows are not visible, but will survive below
the ground surface as buried features.
An old footpath, visible as a linear depression, runs in a north east to south
west direction past the northern edge of the most southern barrow.
The round barrow cemetery lies in an area which has many other prehistoric
monuments, including further burials and the remains of prehistoric land
The surface of the gravelled forestry track which runs past the north west
corner of the monument and a fence which runs east to west across the southern
edge of the second barrow from the north are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite limited disturbance, the round barrow cemetery (including the barrows
known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm, has
survived well. Significant information about the construction of the component
barrows and the burials placed within them will be preserved. Any flat graves
will survive in the area between the barrows. Evidence for earlier land use
and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mounds.
This is one of only a few barrow cemeteries on the North York Moors, and
provides a marked contrast to other Bronze Age burial monuments in this area
which occur either singly, in small clusters or in widely dispersed groupings.
As such, it will provide important insight into the development of ritual and
funerary practice during the Bronze Age.
The eastern Tabular Hills is an area which has many networks of prehistoric
land boundaries. These are thought to represent systems of territorial land
division which were constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape
by river valleys and watersheds. The Dalby Forest and Scamridge areas have a
particular concentration which is thought to have originated in the Late
Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, earlier than most other prehistoric boundary
systems on the Tabular Hills. The networks within this concentration, and many
of their component boundaries, are notably complex and are of considerable
importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in
eastern Yorkshire.
Together with other burial monuments in the area, the barrows within this
cemetery are also considered to represent territorial markers, which would
have been part of the system of boundaries dividing the area between
Troutsdale in the south and the scarp edge of the Tabular Hills in the north.
The relationships between the cemetery and the other land boundaries in the
landscape surrounding it are important for understanding the division and use
of the landscape for social, ritual and agricultural purposes during the later
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989)
Bastow, M, AM107, (1998)
Craster, OE, AM7, (1968)

Source: Historic England

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