Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wheeldale Howe

A Scheduled Monument in Hartoft, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3839 / 54°23'2"N

Longitude: -0.8212 / 0°49'16"W

OS Eastings: 476655.106

OS Northings: 499351.159778

OS Grid: SE766993

Mapcode National: GBR QKQR.08

Mapcode Global: WHF99.C26K

Entry Name: Wheeldale Howe

Scheduled Date: 2 September 1969

Last Amended: 24 February 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021255

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35910

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hartoft

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Egton St Hilda

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a round cairn which is situated on Middle Jurassic
sandstone on the North York Moors. It occupies a prominent ridge-top
position between Wheeldale Moor and Egton High Moor.

The cairn has a well-defined sub-circular mound constructed from stone
rubble, which measures up to 21m in diameter and stands up to 1.5m high.
Partial excavation in the past has left a hollow in the centre of the
mound. To the north of the centre there is a small modern walkers' cairn
on the top of the mound.

The cairn is one of a number in the area which lie on the central
watershed of the North York Moors. It is surrounded by many other
prehistoric monuments, particularly, those associated with burials.

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.

Despite limited disturbance, Wheeldale Howe has survived well. Significant
information about the original form of the cairn and the burials placed
within it will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the
contemporary environment will also survive beneath the mound. Together
with other burial monuments in the area this cairn is thought to represent
a territorial marker. Similar monument groups are known across the North
York Moors, to the east and to the west, and they provide valuable insight
into burial practice and land division for social and ritual purposes.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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