Long barrow 400m NW of Steeple Cross

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1008574
Date first listed:
20-Jul-1964
Date of most recent amendment:
20-Apr-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long barrow 400m NW of Steeple Cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County:
North Yorkshire
District:
Hambleton (District Authority)
Parish:
Kepwick
National Park:
NORTH YORK MOORS
National Grid Reference:
SE 49155 90333

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

Despite limited disturbance this barrow has survived well. Significant information about the original form, burials placed within it and evidence of earlier land use beneath the mound will be preserved. The monument is associated with a group of round barrows and later prehistoric linear earthworks thought to mark a prehistoric boundary. Similar groups of monuments are also known across the north and central areas of the North York Moors providing important insight into burial practices. Such groupings of 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.

Details

The monument includes a long barrow orientated north west to south east situated on the west edge of Arden Little Moor. It lies in close proximity to a group of round barrows and a series of prehistoric linear earthworks. The barrow has a large well defined elongated earth and stone mound standing 1.3m high. It is 31m long, 10m wide at the south east end but tapering to 6m at the west end. Excavations carried out by Canon Greenwell in 1877 revealed five human burials and several flint artefacts. The remains of this excavation can still be seen as a trench cutting across the barrow 5m from the south east end. The mound was flanked by a ditch up to 3m wide which has become filled in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
24461
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)
Other
Kinnes, IA and Longworth, IH, Catalogue of the excavated material in the Greenwell collection, Catalogue of Excavated Material in the Greenwell Collection, (1985)

Legal

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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