Round cairn on western slopes of Dour Hill, 250m south west of summit


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015844

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on western slopes of Dour Hill, 250m south west of summit
© 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 - 1015844 .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 11-Dec-2018 at 06:34:35.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Rochester


National Grid Reference: NT 79400 02100


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.

Despite some disturbance from antiquarian investigation and subsequent afforestation, this round cairn on Dour Hill is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits.


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


The monument includes a round cairn of Bronze Age date situated in a prominent location on the western slopes of Dour Hill, some 170m east of Dour Hill Long Cairn. The cairn is visible as an annular bank of stone and earth 3m wide and 12m in diameter. Within the interior there is a cist, or stone coffin which measures 1.4m by 0.8m and is 0.5m deep. A large slab of stone, which served as the capstone of the cist is lying immediately to its south west. In 1975 the capstone was removed by machine during forestry operations in the area, and the interior was excavated. The fragments of what were thought to be the skeletons of two children, several pieces of Bronze Age pottery, part of a hazelnut shell and a complete Bronze Age pot were removed. It is thought that the pieces of pottery came from a second pot which had been robbed from beneath the capstone by earlier antiquaries. The limited excavation also revealed the existence of a cist construction pit and small areas of burning beneath the surrounding stone of the cairn.

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: 28552

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5th series' in A Food Vessel Burial On Dour Hill, Byrness, , Vol. 5, (1977), 204-6

End of official listing