King Arthur's Round Table henge

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007903

Date first listed: 18-Aug-1882

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Jun-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of King Arthur's Round Table henge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Yanwath and Eamont Bridge

National Grid Reference: NY 52329 28367

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.

Despite some mutilation of the monument's bank and ditch by road construction, King Arthur's Round Table survives well and remains a visually impressive monument in the landscape. It is one of three henges clustered near to the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther and is a good example of this class of monument. Limited excavation during the 1930s located human remains, and the monument will contain further evidence of the activities undertaken within the internal area.

History

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

Details

The monument is a henge known as King Arthur's Round Table, thought to have been constructed between 2000 - 1000 BC. It is located on a comparatively flat alluvial river terrace a short distance from the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther, and includes a partly mutilated earthen bank and internal ditch enclosing a flat circular area. The west arc of the bank is the more complete and measures 10m-13m in width by 0.5m-1.7m high. The short surviving length of bank in the east arc measures a maximum of 10.5m wide by 1.85m high. Elsewhere the bank has been levelled by road construction. There is an entrance 7.8m wide through the bank on the monument's southern side. This entrance becomes a causeway 3.7m wide across the ditch and gives access into the henge's interior. Between the bank and ditch is a berm up to 7m wide. The ditch has a regular broad U-shaped profile and measures 12.5m-16.2m wide with a depth of 1.4m-1.6m. The interior of the monument surrounded by the ditch is elliptical in shape, measuring 51.2m north east-south west by 44.1m transversely. Roughly in the centre is a low sub-oval platform up to 0.35m high and measuring 24m by 22.6m. Limited excavation of the monument during the 1930s located a trench containing cremated bone close to the centre of the henge. The monument is in the guardianship of the Secretary of State. All walls, gateposts, and the war memorial and its setting are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath all these features is included.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 23648

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Aubrey, J, Monumenta Britannica, (1981)
Pennant, T, A Tour in Scotland; 1769, (1790), 277-8
Bersu, G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc.' in King Arthur's Round Table. Final Report Incl 1939 Excavation, , Vol. XL, (1940), 169-206
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc' in King Arthur's Round Table. Interim report on the excavation 1937, , Vol. XXXVIII, (1938), 1-31
Topping, P, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in The Penrith Henges: A Survey By the RCHME, , Vol. 58, (1992), 249-64
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Henges, (1989)

End of official listing