Hanging Grimston barrow group: three bowl barrows 600m south west of Thixendale Grange


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Hanging Grimston barrow group: three bowl barrows 600m south west of Thixendale Grange
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 81470 60441

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 these 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 three bowl barrows which are among several situated on the south eastern spur of Deepdale Wold. These barrows also lie between 40m and 80m 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 all three barrows have been altered by agricultural activity, the largest barrow is still visible as a mound 1m high and 30m in diameter. The ditch surrounding the mound was partially excavated by J R Mortimer in 1868 and found to be 4.5m wide by 2m deep, with a diameter of 37m; although it has become infilled over the years and is no longer visible at ground level, this ditch has also been identified on aerial photographs.

A second barrow lies 60m south of the first; this is visible as a mound 0.5m high and 20m in diameter. The infilled ditch surrounding the mound has been identified on aerial photographs and has a maximum diameter of 33m.

The third barrow is located 50m north west of the first; it is 0.3m high and 24m in diameter. Although the ditch has been covered by the gradual spreading of the barrow mound, it is visible on aerial photographs and has a diameter of 22m.

The barrow were recorded and partially excavated by J R Mortimer between 1864 and 1868.

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
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 106-7
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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