Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Allerston, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2474 / 54°14'50"N

Longitude: -0.645 / 0°38'42"W

OS Eastings: 488386.555616

OS Northings: 484366.727294

OS Grid: SE883843

Mapcode National: GBR RMYB.46

Mapcode Global: WHGC3.2H3R

Entry Name: Long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1968

Last Amended: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020330

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35152

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Allerston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Allerston St John

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a long barrow which is situated towards the southern
edge of the Tabular Hills, on level ground overlooking the valley of Ox Dale.
The barrow has an earthen mound which is 28m long and is oriented east to
west. The width of the mound tapers from 14m at the eastern end to 10m at the
western end and its height tapers from 1.3m at the eastern end to 0.9m at the
western end. Partial excavation in the past has left the surface of the mound
irregular with shallow depressions. The mound was constructed with material
from flanking quarry ditches; traces of the ditch on the north side of the
mound survive as a linear hollow up to 3m wide and 0.4m deep, but that on the
south side has become filled in over the years by soil slipping from the mound
so that it is no longer visible as an earthwork. Originally there would have
been a forecourt area in front of the eastern, higher end of the mound, where
rituals relating to the use of the monument would have taken place. Traces of
these activities will survive below the ground surface as pits, post-holes or
hearths, although nothing is visible above the ground.
The barrow lies in an area which has many other prehistoric monuments,
including further burials and the remains of prehistoric land division.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and
their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be
nationally important.

Despite limited disturbance, the long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage
has survived well. Significant information about the original form of the
barrow, the burials placed within it and the rituals associated with its use
will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary
environment will also survive beneath the barrow mound and within the buried
The barrow lies in an area where there are many other prehistoric burial
monuments, dating from the Bronze Age as well as the Neolithic. The
association with similar monuments provides insight into the distribution of
ritual and funerary activity across the landscape at different times during
the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Northern Archaeological Associates, , North York Moors Forest Survey Phase Two, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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