A long barrow 120m north of Westow Grange, incorporating part of a medieval field system
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008302
Date first listed: 30-Aug-1922
Date of most recent amendment: 06-Jun-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 76966 65158
Reasons for Designation
Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.
Although altered slightly by medieval ploughing and partially excavated in the 19th century, the long barrow remains as an upstanding mound. Further evidence of burials and the structure of the barrow, including the flanking ditches from which the mound material was obtained, will survive.
The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow which has been partially altered
by medieval ploughing, evinced by moderately well-preserved ridge and furrow
earthworks adjacent to the mound. The monument is situated on the lower
slopes of the Wolds on the edge of a rolling plateau overlooking the valley of
the Howl Beck to the east. Despite medieval cultivation, which may have
masked the full extent of the barrow, and partial excavation by Canon
Greenwell in the 1860s, the mound is still upstanding to a height of 1.5m; it
is oval in plan, measuring 30m long on its north east/south east axis by 25m
wide. Greenwell recorded that the original mound was composed of earth and
rubble with a single grave chamber containing at least five burials; a later
addition to the mound, on its south side, contained four additional burials.
A foundation trench for a timber facade was also identified.
The barrow lies at the northern edge of a field which was ploughed during the
medieval period. Although not very clearly defined, a series of ridges and
furrows approximately 6m wide and up to 0.3m high runs east-west across the
field. This cultivation extended at least as far as the foot of the barrow
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 20541
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Kinnes, I A, Longworth, I H, The Greenwell Collection, (1985), 107-8
Record No. 01738,
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