Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow and part of a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, 500m north-west of Brown Moor Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007483
Date first listed: 15-Jan-1931
Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jan-1994
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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)
National Grid Reference: SE 80524 62499
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
Although the barrow has been partially altered by agricultural activity, it was comparatively well documented during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th century and below-ground remains will survive. The barrow lies close to a linear boundary earthwork and, although the boundary is no longer visible as a surface feature, the infilled ditch survives below-ground and the monument is thought to retain archaeological evidence for the chronological relationship between the two items. The monument is one 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.
The monument includes a bowl barrow and part of a prehistoric cross-dyke which
was later cut through it. The monument is situated on a plateau at the western
end of Birdsall Wold and is one of a number of prehistoric monuments in the
vicinity of Aldro Farm.
Although altered over the years by agricultural activity, the barrow is still
visible as a slight mound less than 0.3m high and 22m in diameter. The mound
will have been surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during
its construction and, although no trace of the ditch is visible, it will
survive as a buried feature and is estimated to be 3m wide. The cross-dyke is
infilled but has been observed from aerial photographs running east-west
across the barrow.
The barrow is one of a group of seven bowl barrows which were recorded by
J R Mortimer in 1867-72. Mortimer's partial excavation of the mound revealed
the ditch of the cross-dyke which was 2m wide by 1.2m deep.
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: 20493
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,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing