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Square barrow on Westwood Common, 150m north west of Blackmill

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Square barrow on Westwood Common, 150m north west of Blackmill

List entry Number: 1013993

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: East Riding of Yorkshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Beverley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Jun-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Jan-1996

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 26561

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified. Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are also known. A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the body of the deceased. Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments, although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of protection.

The monument is one of a closely associated group of prehistoric earthworks on Westwood Common, which include both square and round barrows, as well as Romano-British enclosures, linear boundary dykes and a short section of Roman road. The group has survived as part of a rare landscape characterised by features dating back as far as the Bronze Age, which has owed its survival to the granting of common grazing rights to the local people of Beverley in the 14th century AD. The survival of such an extensive area of prehistoric earthworks is unusual in this region of East Yorkshire, where arable agricultural practices have resulted in the destruction of many earthwork remains of monuments above ground. It offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this area, and the develoment of these through time. The monument was excavated by Canon Greenwell in 1875. Despite this part excavation, the barrow survives as a visible feature, forming one of a well-defined group of Iron Age square barrows here, and will contain further archaeological information relating to its construction.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an Iron Age square barrow on Westwood Common, Beverley, 150m north west of Blackmill. It is one of an important group of prehistoric funerary earthworks surviving together on Westwood Common, which represents a sizeable area of the land in which prehistoric earthworks have survived because of the establishment of common grazing rights here in the 14th century AD. The barrow is located to the east of a group of four square barrows of the same period, three of which are clearly square, the fourth having a more sub- rectangular, semicircular mound. It was excavated by Cannon Greenwell in 1875, together with the other sub-rectangular barrow in the group of four, although apparently contained no finds. The barrow is not obviously square, but nearly circular in shape, and may thus have been altered during its excavation by Canon Greenwell. It measured some 6m in diameter, and is surrounded by a ditch 2m wide ditch, which, although infilled and now no longer visible at ground level, will survive as a buried feature.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877), 456
Stead, I M, The Arras Culture, (1979), 98
Other
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Mackay, Rodney , (1995)

National Grid Reference: TA 01975 39101

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013993 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2017 at 10:40:59.

End of official listing