Percy Cross bowl barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015435

Date first listed: 07-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Percy Cross bowl barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Guisborough

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Great Ayton

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Kildale


National Grid Reference: NZ 60671 11868

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.

Despite limited disturbance, this barrow has survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrow and the burials placed within it will be preserved. Evidence of earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mound. Together with other barrows in the area it is thought to also represent a territorial marker. Similar groups of monuments are known across the west and central areas of the North York Moors, providing important insight into burial practice. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social and ritual purposes in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in a prominent position on the north edge of the North York Moors The barrow has an earth and stone mound standing 1.2m high. It is round in shape and 12m in diameter. The mound was partly excavated in 1961 when a narrow trench was cut across the centre. This excavation revealed a stone cist, or box-like structure to house a burial, which measured 1.2m by 0.66m and 0.45m deep. Within the cist was a scatter of cremated bone and a small jet bead. In common with other similar barrows in the area the mound was surrounded by a kerb of stones which defined the barrow and supported the mound. However, over the years the stones have disappeared or been buried by soil slipping from the mound. The excavation trench was dug in advance of the rebuilding of a stone wall crossing the mound which has now been demolished, although a distinct hollow is still clearly visible. The barrow lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments including further barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

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: 28256

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Elgee, F, Early Man in NE Yorkshire, (1930), 148
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds in North East Yorkshire, (1995), 63
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993), 91-116

End of official listing