Standing stone and adjacent round cairn, 760m north east of East Shaftoe Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015530

Date first listed: 28-Nov-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Standing stone and adjacent round cairn, 760m north east of East Shaftoe Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Belsay

National Grid Reference: NZ 06583 82119


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

Reasons for Designation

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age. 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 variety 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.

The standing stone and round cairn near east Shaftoe Hall survive very well and will contribute greatly to our understanding of prehistoric funerary and ritual practices.


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


The monument includes a standing stone and an adjacent round cairn of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date situated in a prominent position on the top of a small knoll. The cairn, 14m in diameter stands to a maximum height of 1.9m. It was partly opened in the 18th century by the Antiquarian Warburtan; in it he uncovered a stone coffin or cist very close to the top of the centre of the cairn. The standing stone, originally one of two, is situated some 6m to the south of the cairn. It is 2m high and measures 1.5m wide and is 0.6m thick. A spherical amber bead was found at the foot of the stone in 1985. A second stone which is thought to have stood to the north east of the cairn was reportedly removed to Wallington Hall in the early 18th century. The cairn and two standing stones were first mentioned in 1552 when the Order of the Marches directed that `the watch be kept at the two stones the Poind and His Man, with two men nightly, of the inhabitors of Bollame'

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: 25146

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Memoir to Survey of Eastern Branch of the Watling Street, (1864), 3
Davies, J, Davidson, J, 'Northern Archaeology vol 9 1988-89' in A Survey of Bolam and Shaftoe area, Northumberland, (1990), 73-74
Davies, J, Davidson, J, 'Northern Archaeology vol 9 1988-89' in A Survey of Bolam and Shaftoe area, Northumberland, (1990), 73

End of official listing