Hanging Grimston barrow group: four bowl barrows on Uncleby Stoop


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 81852 60068

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations 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 barrows have been partially altered by agricultural activity, they are still clearly visible and were also comparatively well documented during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th century. Further evidence of the structure of each barrow (the mound, the surrounding ditch, grave pits and burials) will survive and the areas between the mounds will retain evidence for ritual activity in the vicinity of the barrows, during their construction and subsequent use.

The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows which have further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks in the vicinity of Hanging Grimston. Similar groups of monuments are also known from other parts of the Wolds and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such associations between monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period. Additionally, some of the barrows in the Hanging Grimston area are distributed parallel to a line later adopted by a Roman road: this distribution implies a degree of continuity of land divisions from at least the Early Bronze Age into the Roman period.


The monument includes four adjacent bowl barrows situated on the south eastern slopes of Deepdale Wold, an area known as Uncleby Stoop. These barrows also lie 90m east of the later Roman road between Malton and Brough; the distribution of Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds parallel to the road is evidence that the Romans were continuing to use an established prehistoric route across the Wolds.

Although altered by agricultural activity, the barrows are all still visible as earthworks and the infilled ditches which surround the mounds have been identified on aerial photographs. The northwesternmost barrow has a mound 1.5m high and 24m in diameter; a ditch 37m in diameter surrounds the mound. Immediately to the east of this is a smaller barrow whose mound, 0.5m high and 20m diameter, has gradually spread to cover its 18m diameter ditch. J R Mortimer, describing the barrows in the 1860s, stated that these two were so closely spaced that their mounds appeared as a single tumulus.

About 60m to the south east of the above, the third barrow is visible as a 1m high mound, 33m in diameter. This mound has also spread to cover its surrounding ditch, which is 22m in diameter.

The fourth barrow lies 80m north east of the third; its mound is 0.3m high and 28m in diameter and has spread over its 22m diameter ditch.

The barrows were recorded and partially excavated by Mortimer in 1865 and 1869; he discovered a number of burials, some in pits cut into the ground beneath the mounds.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 108-12
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 112
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 110-112
Record No. 04064.0,
Stoertz C, RCHME unpublished survey (1992), 1992,


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

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