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


Ordnance survey map of A long barrow 120m north of Westow Grange, incorporating part of a medieval field system
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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)

Parish: Westow

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 mound.

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,

End of official listing