A bowl barrow at Howe Hill 130m south-south-west of St Felix's Church
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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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
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
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.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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