Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 800m NNE of Burdale North Wold


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013712

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 800m NNE of Burdale North Wold
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Fimber

National Grid Reference: SE 88126 63963


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.

The monument is one of a closely associated group of barrows within Towthorpe Plantation. The location of the modern county boundary along this line of barrows offers important insight into the antiquity of land divisions in this region.

Despite part excavation by J R Mortimer in 1870, the barrow survives in very good condition, almost to its original height, and will contain further burials and archaeological information relating to its construction.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, situated on the county boundary line between North Yorkshire and Humberside. The barrow is one of a group of seven barrows surviving in this area, five of which are in a line along the county boundary.

The barrow survives as a prominent mound up to 3m in height, and is between 34m (north-south) and 40m (east-west) in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch 3m wide, which although no longer visible at ground level, will survive as a buried feature.

The monument was originally part of a much larger group of 21 barrows, recorded by J R Mortimer as stretching for 7km from Wharram in the west nearly as far as Sledmere in the east, and itself forms part of a chain of barrows extending along the line of the ancient greenway now known as the Wolds Way, from Aldro to Sledmere.

A depression in the centre of the mound summit attests to the fact that the barrow was excavated by J R Mortimer in 1870, who discovered the calcined bones of a child amongst some decayed wood ESE of the mound centre, about a metre from the mound base. This burial was made during the raising of the mound, following the primary interment.

The primary interment was found cut into bedrock beneath the centre of the mound, and contained the remains of an extended male skeleton measuring 1.8 metres long, and orientated from head to feet, north west-south east. Finds overall included a small pot sherd contained within a depression, flint fragments, two saws, a spear-head and a spoon-shaped black flint scraper. A bronze dagger blade, contained within a much decayed bronze sheath, was found by the left arm of the skeleton, a hammer-stone to the left of the head and a black flint knife to the right of the upper jaw bone.

Much of the material of the barrow mound was found to consist of local clay brought in from Burdale and Duggleby, for the purpose of the burial. Layers of this clay alternated with layers of reddish soil from the burial location, and filled the centre of the grave beneath the mound.

A modern post and wire fence runs past the monument to its south side, and is excluded from the scheduling, although 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: 26534

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 3-6
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1989)
Craster, OE, AM7, (1966)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Pacitto, A.L., AM107, (1985)

End of official listing