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Aldro earthworks: seven bowl barrows and part of a linear boundary on Birdsall Wold, 220m east-north-east of Aldro Farm

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Aldro earthworks: seven bowl barrows and part of a linear boundary on Birdsall Wold, 220m east-north-east of Aldro Farm

List entry Number: 1007456

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Birdsall

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-Jan-1931

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jan-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20468

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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, some are still clearly visible as upstanding mounds and were comparatively well documented during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th century. Other barrows and a linear boundary included in the scheduling are only visible from aerial photographs but the below-ground remains of infilled ditches and burial pits will survive intact. The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows which have further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks in the vicinity of Birdsall Wold. Similar groups of monuments are also known 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes seven bowl barrows and part of an adjacent linear boundary situated on the crest of Birdsall Wold. It is one of a number of prehistoric monuments in the vicinity of Aldro Farm. Although altered over the years by agricultural activity, four of the barrows are still visible as gently sloping mounds, ranging between 1m and 0.3m in height. The edges of the mounds are indistinct but the diameter of the largest has been estimated as 26m while the smallest has a diameter of about 20m. Aerial photographs reveal the circular outlines of a buried ditch surrounding each barrow and the ditches of three barrows which are no longer visible as surface features; the ditches range from 32m to 15m in diameter. Material for the construction of the barrows was originally quarried from these ditches. The four upstanding barrows were recorded by J R Mortimer in 1874 and their outward appearance has altered little since that time. Mortimer's partial excavations recorded the contents of deep burial pits under the centre of two of the mounds; it is thought that the infilled ditches surrounding the mounds and peripheral burials remain intact. Although levelled by agricultural activity, the infilled ditch of the linear boundary is visible on aerial photographs and it runs from close to Aldro Rath eastwards along the brow of the hill. The ditch is estimated to be about 5m wide and it will have been flanked by banks formed from the excavated earth which are no longer visible as surface features. Where it lies adjacent to the edges of the northernmost barrows, the ditch is included in the scheduling.

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.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: SE 81105 63005

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 02:44:46.

End of official listing