Heslerton Brow barrow group: three bowl barrows 300m north-east of Wold Barn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011586

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Heslerton Brow barrow group: three bowl barrows 300m north-east of Wold Barn
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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 92320 75008


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

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 the barrows have been partially altered by agricultural activity, two are still clearly visible as earthworks. The infilled quarry ditches which surround the barrows have also been observed on aerial photographs. While the contents of neighbouring barrows were recorded during a campaign of fieldwork in the 19th century, these barrows have never been excavated and the encircling ditches and burials in deep grave pits will survive intact. Because the three barrows lie in close proximity, good evidence for their relative dates of construction will survive. The three barrows are members of an associated group which has further associations with broadly contemporary boundary earthworks in the vicinity of East Heslerton Wold. Similar groups of monuments are also known from other parts of the Wolds and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such associations between 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.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows which are members of a group of barrows situated on the northern edge of East Heslerton Wold. Although altered by agricultural activity, the largest barrow is still visible as an earthy mound 1m high and 35m in diameter. The ditch which originally surrounded the barrow has been covered by the gradual spreading of the mound material but is visible on aerial photographs. A second barrow lies to the south-west of the larger one; this is identifiable as a chalky mound 0.3m high and 20m in diameter. The ditch surrounding this barrow is also covered by the edge of the mound but is visible on aerial photographs and has a maximum diameter of 20m. A third barrow, which touches the southern side of the largest barrow, no longer survives as an earthwork but the eastern arc of its buried ditch is visible from aerial photographs; this has an estimated total diameter of 20m.

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: 20565

Legacy System: RSM


Stoertz, K, (1992)

End of official listing