Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn 340m west of The Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Harbottle, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2968 / 55°17'48"N

Longitude: -2.0777 / 2°4'39"W

OS Eastings: 395162.3994

OS Northings: 600302.22967

OS Grid: NT951003

Mapcode National: GBR F7X6.Z1

Mapcode Global: WHB0V.14W7

Entry Name: Round cairn 340m west of The Beacon

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021032

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32791

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Harbottle

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of prehistoric date,
situated on the top of a prominent knoll where it commands extensive,
uninterrupted views in all directions. The cairn is composed largely of stone
ranging in size from large boulders up to 1m across to small angular stones
about 0.1m across. The cairn is roughly circular in shape and measures a
maximum of 25m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 2m. The upper
surface of the cairn has been rearranged to form one large and three smaller
weapons pits.

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 cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Inspite of the fact that its upper parts have been partially remodeled,
the round cairn 340m west of The Beacon is reasonably well-preserved. The
full extent of the structure remains in situ and will provide important
information about the manner of its construction and the nature and length
of its use. The round cairn is of particular importance as it is one of a
group of large stone built cairns sited in prominent locations in the
area. Taken together with these cairns and the remains of prehistoric
settlements in the vicinity, it will inform our understanding of funerary
practices and related aspects of prehistoric life at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, An Archaeological Survey of the MOD Training Area, Otterburn, (1977), 23
Charlton, B, Fifty centuries of Peace and War, (1996), 29

Source: Historic England

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