Bowl barrow 780m north east of Watermanhole Reservoir


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013864

Date first listed: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 780m north east of Watermanhole Reservoir
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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: Huggate

National Grid Reference: SE 86430 57230


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 on Huggate Wold. The location of the barrows alongside an ancient greenway, and close to the very extensive systems of dykes and hollow ways dating back to the Bronze Age, offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds. Despite part excavation by J R Mortimer in 1882 and the effects of ploughing over many years, the barrow still survives as a visible feature in the landscape, 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 Bronze Age bowl barrow on Huggate Wold, approximately 2km south west of Fridaythorpe Village and 780m north east of Watermanhole Reservoir, in fields between Holm Dale to the north east and Horse Dale to the south. The barrow is one of a broadly related group of barrows surviving in this area, and together these form part of a much larger group of bowl barrows dispersed across Huggate Wold and Huggate Pasture. Although altered over the years by agricultural activity which has reduced the height of the mound and spread its surface area, the barrow is still visible as a low and very dispersed mound c.0.3m high and 20m in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch c.3m wide which, although infilled by ploughing and no longer visible at ground level, will survive as a buried feature. The monument was originally part of a larger cemetery of 20 barrows existing adjacent to an ancient trackway, which itself is related to the ancient greenway in the Wolds of East Yorkshire, now known as the Wolds Way. The monument lies around 1km to the north west of the linear bank system of Horse Dale, and should be viewed in the context of the wider ancient landscape, where very extensive systems of banks, dykes and hollow ways link large tracts of the countryside in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds. The barrow was partly excavated by J R Mortimer in April 1882, who found it surviving to a height of 1.5m. The first interment discovered was that of an adult lying within a grave 0.6m north of centre and cut into the original ground surface at the base of the barrow. It had been placed flexed upon its right side with the left arm doubled back, hand to neck. An oval shaped grave was found in the centre of the barrow orientated approximately east-west, measuring nearly 2m long, by 1.5m wide and 0.76m deep, containing the remains of a young individual placed in the same position as the first burial. Broken human bones of what appeared to have been a large adult had been placed at the knees of burial two, apparently contemporaneously with the burial itself, either representing the redeposition of an earlier primary burial or possibly as a sacrificial offering. The grave fill consisted of gritty sediment and bone fragments apparently belonging to the same dismembered individual. Offerings of bones from red deer were also found among these. These burials were originally encircled by a trench measuring 7.6m in diameter, c.1m wide, and between 0.45m and 0.76m deep, which was found to contain chalk rubble, together with pieces of burnt wood and three small pot sherds. A gap measuring 2.74m wide was found on the west side of the barrow. The mound which had been raised over the burials consisted of a core of local soil and gritty chalk, covered with blue clay brought in from the valley bottoms of the surrounding dales and completed with a layer of surface soil. Excavation of the fabric of the mound disclosed fragments of a large human skull, a portion of a small jaw bone with worn teeth, portions of a child's skull and additional bones thought to have been from a disturbed burial. Animal bones, a flint knife and half of a large greenstone celt were also found, together with what appeared to have been a bone knife made from the leg bone of a red deer.

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: 26552

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)

End of official listing