Maiden's Bower round cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008843

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Maiden's Bower round cairn
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 06:29:40.


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

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: NZ 26437 42715


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Maiden's Bower survives well and contains significant archaeological deposits. Evidence of the manner of construction, and the nature and duration of its use will be preserved within and beneath the mound.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a round cairn of Bronze Age date, situated on the north eastern end of a ridge overlooking the Wear Valley. The mound is flat-topped, measures 8.5m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 1.5m. It is rather unusual in being surrounded by a level berm 3.5m wide, and there are traces of a surrounding ditch, 0.3m deep and 2m wide, visible on the south western side. Elsewhere this is thought to survive as an infilled feature. The earliest recorded mention of the monument was in 1346 when at the Battle of Neville's Cross the Durham monks raised the `corporax cloth' of St Cuthbert there. A wooden cross is reported to have stood on the monument until 1569.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 25010

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Young, R, Wear Valley Prehistory, (1984)

End of official listing