Round cairn, 300m south of Lowshield Green


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014050

Date first listed: 01-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn, 300m south of Lowshield Green
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Birtley

National Grid Reference: NY 88876 79751

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some damage by antiquarian excavation the cairn near Lowshield Green retains significant archaeological deposits. Evidence of the manner of construction and the nature and duration of its use will be preserved within and beneath the mound.


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated on a level plateau on a steep north facing slope. The cairn is visible as the disturbed remains of a flat topped mound composed of stone and earth measuring 20m in diameter and standing to a maximum height of 0.4m. Slight indications of a ditch 0.1m deep and a stone kerb surrounding the mound could be seen in 1965. The cairn was excavated in 1884 by G R Hall, the vicar of Birtley, when it was found to contain two Bronze Age pottery vessels each containing a cremated body. The location of the pottery is no longer known.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 25167

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gibson, A M, Bronze Age Pottery in the North East of England, (1978)
Rome Hall, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 2 ser 12' in Archaeologia Aeliana 2 ser 12, (1887), 242-7
NY 87 NE 23,

End of official listing