Ancient Monuments

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Four round barrows 875m north west of High Blansby

A Scheduled Monument in Pickering, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2811 / 54°16'51"N

Longitude: -0.7416 / 0°44'29"W

OS Eastings: 482030.914263

OS Northings: 488002.338458

OS Grid: SE820880

Mapcode National: GBR RL8Y.73

Mapcode Global: WHF9Q.LN2D

Entry Name: Four round barrows 875m north west of High Blansby

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 16 October 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020818

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35465

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Pickering

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Pickering St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of a group of four
prehistoric round barrows. They are located on the high ground in the
northern part of the area of land known as Blansby Park. The monument is
divided into three separate areas of protection, one of which includes two
adjacent barrows and the other two areas include one barrow each. Blansby
Park lies on the southern limestone fringe of the predominantly sandstone
North York Moors. It occupies a broad promontory of undulating land
defined by the deep valleys of Gundale Beck to the west and Newton Dale to
the east and south. Archaeological evidence shows that the land was used
intensively in the prehistoric, Roman and medieval periods for
agricultural and ritual purposes. Remains of these activities survive
The pair of adjacent barrows lie at the north west of the group and are
located at NGR SE81998803. The northernmost of the pair has a 7m diameter
flat-topped earth and stone mound standing 0.75m high. There are a number
of squared stones up to 0.3m by 0.2m erected around the edge of the mound.
These are the remains of the stone kerbing, which originally encircled the
The second barrow is centred 25m to the SSW of the first. This is
irregular in shape having been clipped by arable ploughing. It has an
earth and stone mound measuring 7m north to south by 5m east to west and
stands 0.5m high. The top of the barrow is slightly dished which is the
result of investigations in the past. The area between the mounds is
included to preserve the stratigraphic relationship between them. One of
the single barrows lies 50m to the south east of the pair and is located
at NGR SE82028800. This barrow is shown on a map in 1928 to measure
approximately 15m in diameter. However it has been subsequently reduced by
ploughing and is now visible as an earth and stone, flat-topped mound
standing 0.5m high. Although originally circular in shape the edges have
been clipped by ploughing and the upstanding mound now measures 6 sq m.
Remains of the full extent of the original barrow around this presently
visible mound are protected.
The other single barrow lies 110m to the south east and is located at NGR
SE82128794. Originally this barrow had an earth and stone mound shown on
a map in 1928 to measure approximately 17m in diameter. This barrow has
also been reduced by ploughing and is now visible as an elongated mound
0.5m high and measuring 17m by 10m on a north west to south east axis.
Remains of the full extent of the original barrow around this presently
visible mound are included in the scheduling.
The group of barrows lie within, and adjacent to, the site of a network of
dykes and enclosures, which are depicted on old maps. They have been
levelled by ploughing and their date, function, nature of survival and
relationship with the barrows is currently unknown.

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 partly reduced by agricultural activity significant
archaeological deposits will be preserved within the four round barrows
875m north west of High Blansby. They are four of many similar monuments
in the immediate area and will preserve important evidence of the ritual
use of the landscape. 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.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 1-22
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of North East Yorkshire, (1961), 1-22
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 1-22

Source: Historic England

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