Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow 30m north east of Old Mill House

A Scheduled Monument in Stainton Dale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3918 / 54°23'30"N

Longitude: -0.4982 / 0°29'53"W

OS Eastings: 497613.680413

OS Northings: 500627.933973

OS Grid: NZ976006

Mapcode National: GBR SKYN.YF

Mapcode Global: WHGBD.BW02

Entry Name: Round barrow 30m north east of Old Mill House

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020816

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34847

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Stainton Dale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ravenscar St Hilda

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round barrow situated on level ground
approximately 1.5km south west of the coast. It is one of a group of
similar monuments lying on the coastal shelf between the sea and the
predominantly heather covered moorland to the west. The area has been
enclosed and brought into agricultural use however it is known that the
prehistoric period saw intensive use of the land for agricultural and
ritual purposes and some remains of these activities survive today.

The barrow has an earth and stone mound shown on a map in 1928 to measure
approximately 10m in diameter. Although subsequently reduced by
agricultural and horticultural activity remains of the barrow can still be
seen as a low mound 10m in diameter and 0.5m in height. There are traces
of a slight hollow on the north east flank. This has been identified as
the work of Tissiman who opened the barrow in 1857. The excavation
uncovered three funerary urns in which some fragments of human bone were

Similar monuments elsewhere in the Moors sometimes have an encircling
ditch around the mound although this may often be infilled and not visible
as an earthwork. There are no surface remains of a ditch around this
mound, although it is expected to survive as a burned feature.

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, 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 or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for 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 bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of 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

Although reduced in size this barrow remains identifiable and significant
archaeological deposits will be preserved. The survival of excavation
records of the round barrow adds to its importance. Excavation of other
round barrows in the region have shown that they demonstrate a very wide
range of burial rites from simple scatters of cremated material to coffin
inhumations and cremations contained in urns, typically dating to the
Bronze Age. A common factor is that barrows were normally used for more
than one burial and that the primary burial was frequently on or below the
original ground surface, often with secondary burials located within the
body of the mound. Most barrows include a small number of grave goods.
These are often small pottery food vessels, but stone, bone, jet and
bronze items have also occasionally been found. Excavation has also shown
that even where no encircling depression is discernible on the modern
ground surface, ditches immediately around the outside of barrows
frequently survive as infilled features, containing additional
archaeological deposits.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 1-32

Source: Historic England

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