Watty Bell's round cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015839

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Watty Bell's round cairn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1015839 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2018 at 13:59:55.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alwinton

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Harbottle

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Rochester


National Grid Reference: NT 89206 01890


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

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.

Watty Bell's cairn is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that it is one of a larger group of cairns in the area; taken together they will add to our understanding of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices.


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


The monument includes a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated on the highest part of a hill commanding extensive views to the north, east and west. The flat topped cairn is composed of stone and earth and measures 10m in diameter. It stands to a maximum height of 1.5m. The upper surface of the cairn has been used as a quarry for stone.

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: 28545

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Charlton, B, Fifty centuries of Peace and War, (1996), 29& 24

End of official listing