King Arthur's Round Table henge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007903
Date first listed: 18-Aug-1882
Date of most recent amendment: 30-Jun-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
Parish: Yanwath and Eamont Bridge
National Grid Reference: NY 52329 28367
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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 23648
Legacy System: RSM
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
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Henges, (1989)
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