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East Field crop mark site centred 300m SSE of Northorpe, interpreted as a Neolithic henge later reused as a Bronze Age ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9225 / 53°55'20"N

Longitude: -0.1762 / 0°10'34"W

OS Eastings: 519862.848192

OS Northings: 448910.496264

OS Grid: TA198489

Mapcode National: GBR WR62.NN

Mapcode Global: WHHG0.8NBT

Entry Name: East Field crop mark site centred 300m SSE of Northorpe, interpreted as a Neolithic henge later reused as a Bronze Age ringwork

Scheduled Date: 1 April 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423379

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hornsea

Built-Up Area: Hornsea

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hornsea St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: York


A complex crop mark site within an arable field, first identified in 2010. The focus of the scheduling is a clear circular feature that is interpreted as being a Neolithic henge. This is set within and respected by a field system, suggesting that the henge was reused in the late Bronze Age as a ringwork: a high status domestic enclosure, a site type also known as a Springfield style enclosure. The core of the surrounding field system is also included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: Neolithic henge, probably reused in the Bronze Age as a ringwork, set in a prehistoric field system, surviving as a series of buried features.

DESCRIPTION: the main element of the scheduling is a roughly circular cropmark of a substantial ditch around 6-8m wide enclosing an area about 50m in diameter. There is a marked break in this ditch to the ESE of the centre, forming an entrance to the enclosure. The terminals of the ditch either side of the entrance are emphasised, the ditch widening to form inward pointing horns, with the entrance passage being about 10m wide, narrowing slightly internally. Immediately outside of the main ditch, clearly respecting the entrance, there is a parallel, narrower cropmark interpreted as a beam slot designed to support the inner face of the henge's encircling bank. A further, intermittent cropmark is interpreted as either an outlying, encircling ditch or the beam slot which retained the outer face of the bank. If it is the latter, the bank would have been about 15m wide. Within the interior of the henge there is a roughly circular crop mark around 15m in diameter, also with an entrance to the SSE. This is interpreted as a high-status domestic round house related to the reuse of the henge as a Bronze Age ringwork, however it may be the remains of a Neolithic structure: an inner ritual enclosure or building forming part of the henge or potentially an earlier phase of the ritual site, predating the construction of the henge's bank and ditch.
Further cropmarks within East Field indicate that there is a co-axial field system which extends beyond the scheduled area. This field system is defined by crop marks of boundary ditches which extend WNW to ESE and NNE to SSW. The henge lies to the centre of one field which is approximately square, being around 120m across. The northern boundary appears to curve around to accommodate the outer ditch or beam-slot of the henge, whilst in the eastern boundary there appears to be a break in the ditch directly in line with the henge's single entrance. On either side of the northern boundary of the field to the east, there are cropmarks of a series of smaller rectangular ditched enclosures ranging between 10m to 40m across, probably representing paddocks, garden or other enclosures related to the reuse of the henge as a Bronze Age ringwork.

AREA OF SCHEDULING: this is focused on the henge, with the boundaries drawn to modern field boundaries to the north, east and south, following a straight line to the west. These boundaries include the henge and extend to include the main identified features of the surrounding prehistoric field system. The prehistoric field system is likely to be extensive, but its full extent is currently unknown and thus likely to extend beyond the scheduled area. There are also likely to be further concentrations of Neolithic activity associated with the henge, but lying some distance away beyond the area of scheduling. Research at Thornborough, near Ripon, has identified that Neolithic activity suggestive of camp sites surrounded the henges at a distance of between 500m - 1km, with little evidence of such activity taking place immediately around the henges. Survival of such potentially significant, but outlying remains are currently unknown.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

This Neolithic henge later reused as a Bronze Age ringwork is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Diversity: the monument is of particular importance because it appears to be a complex, multiperiod site that was established as an important centre of ritual activity in the Neolithic, subsequently adapted as a high status settlement site in the later Bronze Age;
* Rarity: identified Neolithic monuments of any type are nationally rare, henges being of particular significance. Although Bronze Age sites are far more common nationally, ringworks are a very rarely identified site type that are of particular importance for the light that they shed on the rise of elites in later prehistoric society;
* Potential: the fine grained appearance and high level of detail shown by the cropmarks indicates that there is a high potential for well preserved in situ archaeological remains despite the lack of upstanding earthworks.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Harding, Jan (Author), Henge Monuments of the British Isles, (2003)
Pastscape entry for Paddock Hill, Thwing, accessed 11/12/14 from

Source: Historic England

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