How Tallon round barrow and cup marked stones


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.

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
North Yorkshire
Richmondshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 05737 07413

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.

Although partially disturbed by excavation, How Tallon is still a well preserved example of this monument type containing further archaeological remains. Prehistoric rock `art' is found on natural rock outcrops in many upland areas of Britain. The most common form is the cup and ring marking, where small cup like hollows are cut into the surface of the rock. These may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Elaborations on this basic form also occur but are less common. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500BC) and provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols being frequently found close to contempory burial monuments and on portable stones incorporated into burial mounds. The How Tallon cup marked rocks survive in the wall which runs over the burial mound, it is probable therefore that they originally came from the barrow itself or its immediate area.


How Tallon round barrow is situated at the crest of the How Tallon ridge on Barningham Moor and at the conjunction of three stone field walls which encroach onto the monument. It includes a mound which rises to a maximum height of 2.3m on its south side but is reduced to 1.5m elsewhere. It is now largely grassed over, although some small stones protrude on the south side, and has an overall diameter of 15m. The cairn was excavated by the Reverend R A Gatty and Sir Frederick Milbank in 1897. A total of five burials were uncovered along with fragments of a food vessel and Beaker pottery. A modern triangulation point has been set into its western side. The section of the modern field wall which runs over the cairn from east to west is included in the scheduling as it contains a number of prehistoric cup-marked stones.

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.

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Books and journals
Coggins, D, Clews, S, 'Trans.of the Arch. and Arch. Soc.of Durham and Northumberland.' in Archaeology in the Bowes Museum, (1980), 17-30
Coggins, D, Clews, S, 'Trans.of the Arch. and Arch. Soc.of Durham and Northumberland.' in Archaeology in the Bowes Museum, (1980), 17-30


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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