Three barrows at Seamer Beacon and the ruins of Baron Albert's Tower


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Three barrows at Seamer Beacon and the ruins of Baron Albert's Tower
© 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
Scarborough (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 00833 87617

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.

Despite the 19th century building activities on Seamer Beacon, the prehistoric barrows survive reasonably well and will retain significant archaeological remains. The deliberate use of such a prominent location and the manner in which the two lower barrows are appended onto the side of the natural hillock is unusual and implies that this location was seen as important during the prehistoric period. The barrows are members of a wider group on the moor and will contribute to an understanding of the development and use of this group.


At Seamer Beacon, a prominent natural rise has been used as the location for a group of three round barrows, this setting making them a highly visible feature in the landscape. The central barrow occupies the highest position and now survives as a mound around 10m in diameter and 1m high. It was disturbed in the 19th century when its top was levelled and a stone tower folly, known as Baron Albert's Tower, was constructed on it. In 1925 limited excavations were carried out around the barrow and a V-shaped ditch was identified. To the north of this barrow another barrow is visible as a lobate platform extending out from the natural hill slope. This measures 11m in diameter by 1m in height. It too has been partially levelled to form a viewing platform on the hill slope. To the south of the central barrow and lower down the slope, a third barrow 20m in diameter and 2m in height also extends out from the hill slope. The two barrows attached to the hill are not known to have been excavated. The ruins of Baron Albert's Tower are included in the scheduling.

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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of the North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 485
Kitson Clark, M, Gazetteer of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire, (1935), 127
09129, North Yorkshire SMR (09129),


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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