Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 1km NNE of Burdale North Wold


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013713

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Towthorpe Plantation, 1km 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 88378 64083


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 1874, 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 situated in Towthorpe Plantation, situated on the county boundary line between North Yorkshire and Humberside. The barrow is one of a group of seven surviving in this area, five of which are in a line along the county boundary. The barrow survives as a prominent mound up to 2.2m high and 20m in diameter and is surrounded by a ditch between 2m and 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 1874, who found a large heap of cremated bones of an adult within the decayed parts of a small oak coffin, and the remains of a lid on top. Impressions of the square-cut ends and rounded sides of the coffin were seen defined clearly in the original land surface. Part of the mound material was composed of local clay brought in from Burdale and Duggleby for the purpose of the burial. Finds from the mound included 35 flint flakes and fragments, ten scrapers, two spherical putative sling stones, three knives and two parts of knives. A modern post and wire fence encircles part of the southern side of the mound, 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: 26535

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing