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Square barrow on Westwood Common, 120m south 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, 120m south of Blackmill

List entry Number: 1013995

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: 26563

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 development of these through time. The survival of square barrows as extant earthwork features is particularly unusual. The monument has not been excavated, and will therefore still contain original burials and grave goods. It is therefore a rare and important example of its class, in addition to forming one of a well-defined group of square barrows on Westwood Common.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a square barrow on Westwood Common, Beverley, 120m south of Blackmill. It is one of a group of prehistoric funerary earthworks surviving together on Westwood Common, which represents a sizeable area of prehistoric land in which prehistoric earthworks have survived because of the establishment of common grazing rights here in the 14th century AD. The monument is one of an important group of square barrows surviving as upstanding earthworks on Westwood Common. It consists of a central square burial platform about 0.4m high and 10m square, and is surrounded by a ditch 2m wide. Unlike the majority of others on the Common, it is not thought to have been excavated by Canon Greenwell in the 19th century, and will therefore survive with its burial contents intact.

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
Stead, I M, The Arras Culture, (1979), 98
Other
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Mackay, Rodney , (1995)

National Grid Reference: TA 02115 38868

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 - 1013995 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2017 at 11:47:18.

End of official listing