Three round barrows on Cold Moor known as Three Howes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015799

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Three round barrows on Cold Moor known as Three Howes
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Bilsdale Midcable


National Grid Reference: NZ 55208 01797, NZ 55240 01811


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

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 these barrows have survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrows and the burials placed within them will be preserved. Evidence of earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mounds. Together with other barrows in the area they are thought to also represent territorial markers. Similar groups of monuments are also known across the west and central areas of the North York Moors, providing an 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.


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


The monument includes three round barrows situated in a prominent position on the top of Cold Moor on the north of the Hambleton Hills. The monument is divided into two areas separated by a track. In the area to the west are two barrows, one lying 60m to the north of the other, and in the area to the east is a single barrow. Also included in the area to the west is the undisturbed archaeologically sensitive ground between the barrows where remains of flat graves are likely to survive.

The barrows each have an earth and stone mound which is round in shape. In the western area the northern barrow mound is 12m in diameter and 1m high. There are some large kerb stones visible around the edge of the mound. The southern mound is 11m in diameter and 1.2m high. In the centre of each mound is a slight depression resulting from investigations of the mound in the past. In the the area to the east the barrow has a mound 14m in diameter and 1.5m high. In the centre of the mound is a hollow resulting from investigations in the past. Each of the three barrow mounds was surrounded by a ditch up to 3m wide which has become filled in over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork. There are other similar barrows in this area of the Hambleton Hills. Many of these lie in closely associated groups, particularly along the watersheds. They provide evidence of territorial organisation marking divisions of land; divisions which still remain as some parish or township boundaries.

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: 29511

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1992), 98-122

End of official listing