Benthall round cairn

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008430

Date first listed: 07-Mar-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Apr-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Benthall round cairn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Beadnell

National Grid Reference: NU 23715 28908

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Although the round cairn at Benthall has suffered some damage as a result of the construction of an adjacent fishing store, and of natural erosion, the area of the cairn can be defined and it contains further significant archaeological deposits.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of prehistoric date situated on the edge of a cliff, to the north of Beadnell harbour. The visible remains comprise a cist, or stone coffin, situated on the edge of an amorphous mound of boulders, pebbles and sand. The mound, which has become spread, covers a roughly circular area 15m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 0.4m. A second cist is known to lie 3.5m to the south of the first but is now not visible above ground level. Both of these cists were discovered and partially excavated in 1934; the first, which is still visible today, is built of large sandstone slabs orientated WNW by ESE and measures 0.9m by 0.6m and is 0.5m deep. It contained the bones of a prehistoric burial. The second cist measured 0.8m by 0.6m and was 0.6m deep. The removal of a covering slab of sandstone revealed the remains of a second prehistoric burial along with a decorated Bronze Age pottery vessel; the pot is now in the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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: 25048

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Gibson, A M, Bronze Age Pottery in the North East of England, (1978)
'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 8' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 8, (1939), 26-7
Askew, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana, 4 ser 15' in Archaeologia Aeliana, 4 ser 15, (1938), 149-155
Other
NU 22 NW 02,

End of official listing