Cairnfield on the south west of Hawnby Moor including a round barrow and a standing stone


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


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield on the south west of Hawnby Moor including a round barrow and a standing stone
© 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 Park:
National Grid Reference:
SE 53687 93913

Reasons for Designation

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

This monument is well preserved and contains over 150 cairns, several lengths of linear earthwork and a round barrow. It is part of a pattern of similar monuments in this area which will contain significant information about the development of agricultural and ritual practice and provide important insight into the continuity of use in the prehistoric period.


The monument includes a cairnfield extending over an area 670m by 140m on the south west flank of Hawnby Moor. Also included is a round barrow and a standing stone. The cairnfield consists of 169 cairns spreading south west-north east for a distance of 670m. Most of these are round in shape and range in diameter from 1.5m to 8m and in height from 0.2m to 1m. There are several cairns which are elongated but no higher than 1m. There are also low banks of earth and stone, some straight but others with curves in them. None of these banks exceed 25m in length and they are all 3m wide and 0.3m high. The banks do not form any overall pattern. They are interpreted as part of the field system indicated by the clearance cairns. In the north east of the monument is a round barrow. It has an earth and stone mound standing 0.5m high. It is round in shape and 8m in diameter. The centre of the mound has been dug into in the past. The mound was surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which has become filled in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork. The standing stone is situated about 200m to the south west of the barrow. It is a vertical slab 1m high, 0.9m wide and 0.3m thick which leans to the south east. There are other similar monuments on this part of the Hambleton Hills also associated with barrows. They provide evidence of agricultural practices and the organisation of land in the prehistoric period. The grouse butts at the south end of the monument are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)
Pacitto A, AM 107 NO.122 AA11635/1,
Pacitto A, Survey by FMW AM 107 record,
Pacitto A, Survey by FMW AM107 report,


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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