Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three round barrows on Ness Head 750m east of Howlgate Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lockton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2888 / 54°17'19"N

Longitude: -0.7276 / 0°43'39"W

OS Eastings: 482923.423268

OS Northings: 488875.850718

OS Grid: SE829888

Mapcode National: GBR RLCV.8C

Mapcode Global: WHF9Q.SGQH

Entry Name: Three round barrows on Ness Head 750m east of Howlgate Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 July 1964

Last Amended: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020399

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34815

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Lockton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Levisham St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes three conjoined round barrows located on the southern
end of the promontory known as Ness Head in the southern part of the North
York Moors. It is known from archaeological evidence that the southern flanks
of the moors were extensively used in the prehistoric period for agricultural
and ritual purposes. Remains of these activities survive today.
Each barrow has an earth and stone mound. The western mound measures 12m in
diameter and is 0.9m high. The central and eastern mounds measure 6m in
diameter and are 0.5m in height. The western and central mounds are now
separated by a footpath which has worn a gap 2m wide between them. The central
and eastern mounds touch. Given the proximity of the mounds it is thought
that, unlike other similar monuments in the area, these barrows were not
surrounded by a ditch.

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

The three round barrows on Ness Head 750m east of Howlgate Farm have survived
well and significant information about the original construction of the
barrows, the burials placed within them and their relationship with other
monuments in the area will be preserved. Evidence of earlier land use will
also survive beneath the barrow mounds.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 1-23

Source: Historic England

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