Two bowl barrows on Birdsall Wold, 850m east of Aldro Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007403

Date first listed: 15-Jan-1931

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows on Birdsall Wold, 850m east of Aldro Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Birdsall

National Grid Reference: SE 81739 62938


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 protection.

Although the barrows have been partially altered by agricultural activity, they are still clearly visible and were comparatively well documented during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th century. They will retain further evidence of the form of the barrow mound and the burials placed within it. The monument is part of a closely associated group of barrows which have further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks on Birdsall Wold. Similar groups of monuments are also known from other parts of the Wolds and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such associations between monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes two bowl barrows situated on the crest of Birdsall Wold, near the head of Vessey Pasture Dale. The barrows are members of a group of prehistoric monuments on Birdsall Wold. Although altered over the years by agricultural activity, the barrows are still visible as slight mounds, each 0.3m high. The circular outlines of ditches (respectively 20m and 22m in diameter) surrounding the mounds are visible in aerial photographs. The centres of the barrows are 30m apart and the archaeologically sensitive area between them is included in the scheduling. The barrows were recorded and partially excavated by J R Mortimer in 1866 and, although it was noted that the mounds had already been partially levelled by cultivation, the remains of burials were recovered from the middle of each barrow; other buried features, including peripheral burials and the infilled ditches surrounding the mounds, are thought to remain intact.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20479

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)
Stoetz, K., RCHME Survey,

End of official listing