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Group of round barrows and cross ridge dyke at Sunny Bank

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Group of round barrows and cross ridge dyke at Sunny Bank

List entry Number: 1010528

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hawnby

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 08-Feb-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Feb-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25588

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

These barrows have survived well and significant information about the original form, burials placed within them and evidence of earlier land use beneath the mound will be preserved. The reuse of the barrows in the Anglo- Saxon period is unusual and as there are few other Anglo-Saxon burials in this area. This reuse illustrates changing burial practice over time and indicates that the prehistoric barrows were recognisable and functioning in the later landscape. The cross ridge dyke is part of a wider system of prehistoric linear earthworks stretching accross the western Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in an area largely given over to pastoralism and the impressive scale of the works also displayed the corporate prestige of its builders. The barrows themselves are also considered to be territorial markers and together with the dyke provide evidence of the continuity of function. 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a group of nine round barrows located on a prominent east to west orientated spur overlooking Gowerdale. The eastern end of the monument is defined by a cross ridge dyke which runs across the spur from north to south. Most of the barrows have roughly circular earth and stone mounds with an average diameter of c.6m. They stand between 0.3m and 0.5m high. There is one larger example which is 11m in diameter, 0.5m high with a large excavation hole in the centre. Each mound was surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which has been infilled over time and is no longer visible as an earthwork. The archaeologically sensitive area between the barrows is included as it will contain further information about the form and function of the group. By analogy with other sites further burials between the barrows may also be expected here. The majority of the mounds have been disturbed in the past leaving each with a hollow top. Excavations of the mounds in the 19th century produced a number of Anglo-Saxon burials which are secondary insertions into earlier Bronze Age mounds. The cross ridge dyke lies to the east of the barrow group and stands as a prominent earthwork extending for 180m across the spur. It consists of a ditch 5m wide and 1m deep with a bank to the east 4m wide and 0.5m high which is capped by a large dry stone wall for most of its length. There is a slight counterscarp bank to the east standing about 0.2m high which has been eroded in several places by pre-enclosure trackways. The dyke is part of a wider system of prehistoric boundaries dividing land into units given over mostly to pastoralism. There are similar, albeit smaller, groups of barrows on this part of the Hambleton Hills which offer important scope for the study of burial practice. Together with associated later prehistoric boundaries, they provide evidence of territorial organisation marking the division of land; divisions which still remain as some parish or township boundaries. The stone wall is excluded from the sceduling although the ground beneath is included.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Meaney, A L S, Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites, (1964), 290-1
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1982), 33-52
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 116-123

National Grid Reference: SE 52725 89298

Map

Map
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End of official listing