A bowl barrow at Howe Hill 130m south-south-west of St Felix's Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of A bowl barrow at Howe Hill 130m south-south-west of St Felix's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Hambleton (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 46728 84621

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.

The barrow on Howe Hill is a well preserved example which, despite some possible disturbance to its archaeological deposits by tree roots, will retain its contents, including burials, intact.


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is situated on the crest of a prominent knoll in the centre of the village. The dome-shaped mound is 10m in diameter and about 1.5m in height (a slight but clearly-defined break of slope at the foot of the barrow distinguishes the artificial mound from the natural hillside). A quarry ditch is thought to encircle the mound but it has become infilled over the years and is no longer visible; the ditch is estimated by comparison with known examples to be about 2m wide, thus giving the monument a total diameter of 14m. Immediately to the west of the barrow, the natural hillside has been quarried away to accommodate the Thirsk road and the barrow is now very close to the edge of the scarp. There is no evidence that the mound has ever been opened and, although the roots of a mature tree growing from the summit of the barrow may have caused some disruption of archaeological deposits, the barrow's contents will be largely intact. Some recent maps refer to the barrow as a motte (a type of Norman earthwork castle) but this description is now considered erroneous. The name `Howe Hill' is commonly associated with burial mound sites. The surface of a metalled driveway to the Old Vicarage is excluded from the scheduling but, where it impinges on the monument, the ground beneath it 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
L'Anson, W M, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Castles of the North Riding, , Vol. 22, (1912), 347
A.J.T., Ordnance Survey Record, (1976)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows, (1989)
Pacitto, A L, AM 107, (1986)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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