Cairn 670m south of Great Tosson


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011606

Date first listed: 17-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Cairn 670m south of Great Tosson
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jan-2019 at 20:57:39.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Whitton and Tosson


National Grid Reference: NZ 02586 99869


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.

Despite partial excavation of this cairn in the past the limit of disturbance is confined to the central area and significant archaeological deposits remain undisturbed. They contain valuable evidence relating to the construction of the cairn and the nature and duration of its use. Additionally, this cairn is one of a group of prehistoric burial cairns in the area; it will contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity in the region.


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


This monument includes a cairn of Bronze Age date situated on a north facing slope, now in an area of afforestation. The mound, constructed of large stones, measures 10m in diameter and survives to a height of 1m. At the centre of the cairn there is a large hole measuring 4m in diameter, the result of partial excavation in 1889. The remains of two stone cists are clearly visible at the centre. When the cairn was partially excavated one of the cists contained the remains of cremated bones; the other was apparently empty. Several Bronze Age pots were also discovered, one of which contained burnt bone and ash and a flint tool.

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: 20895

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dixon, D D, 'Archaeol Aeliana 2 ser 15 1892' in Archaeol Aeliana 2 ser 15 1892, (1892)

End of official listing