East Heslerton Brow barrow group: a long barrow 1000m east of Manor Wold Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011516

Date first listed: 07-May-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of East Heslerton Brow barrow group: a long barrow 1000m east of Manor Wold Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Heslerton

National Grid Reference: SE 93867 75244


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

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

The western half of the East Heslerton long barrow is well preserved and, although the eastern half has been altered by quarrying and agriculture, excavation has shown that structural features cut into the ground surface still survive.


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


The monument includes a long barrow situated on the top of East Heslerton Wold. The barrow lies along a narrow ridge which is slightly raised above the surrounding land surface and it is thought that the barrow was originally constructed to make use of this natural prominence. In the later Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, at least three bowl barrows were constructed in the vicinity of the long barrow. Although altered by quarrying and agricultural activity, the barrow is still visible as an earthwork. Over the years ploughing, parallel to a modern field boundary which crosses the barrow, has eroded the middle of the barrow more severely than the ends, with the result that the mound, actually 140m long, now appears as two separate mounds. The western end of the long barrow is best preserved, being 1.5m high and 23m wide, while the eastern end is 1m high and 20m wide. In relatively recent times, the eastern end of the barrow mound has been quarried to provide chalk for lime-making and the quarry pit, now partially infilled and restored to cultivation, is visible as a slight hollow 21m in diameter. A slight chalky mound on the eastern lip of the pit marks the extremity of the barrow. Canon Greenwell, the antiquarian, referred to the levelling of a long barrow on Heslerton Wold in 1862 and 1867, although he probably did not visit the site in person. The eastern end of the barrow was excavated in 1962 by F de M and H L Vatcher. No burials were located but, despite the reduction of the mound, the foundation trenches of the timber structures beneath the mound survived, some dug to a depth of 1m below the surface. The Vatchers also recorded the eastern ends of the ditches which originally flanked the barrow but which have become infilled with material eroded from the mound and are no longer visible as earthworks. The ditches are each 7m wide and give the long barrow a total width of 27m at the eastern end but narrowing slightly to the west. The ditches have also been identified on aerial photographs. The fence in the hedgerow which crosses the barrow is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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.


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

Legacy System number: 20561

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Corcoran, J X W P, Megalithic Enq. in the W of Britain, (1969), 77-8
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877), 488-9
Vatcher, F de M , 'Antiquity' in Antiquity, , Vol. 39, (1965), 49-52
DPAL 21-25, DPAD 18, (1980)
Palmer R, Discussion of Bassingbourn `hillfort' site, (1991)
Stoertz, C, (1992)

End of official listing