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
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.
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.