Round cairn at Heddon Laws Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015846

Date first listed: 20-Jul-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn at Heddon Laws Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Heddon-on-the-Wall

National Grid Reference: NZ 14051 69345


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 of the fact that the cairn at Heddon Laws was partly excavated during the 1920s, it is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Bronze Age round cairn situated on the top of a natural hillock. The cairn, visible as a large mound of stone and earth, measures 25m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 2.6m. The cairn was investigated by limited excavation in 1925 revealing the remains of what is thought to be stone walling 0.8m high within the cairn, and in addition several flint flakes were recovered. Documents refer to the cairn as the site of a beacon in 1549, one of a line of such beacon steads used as signalling devices during the border warfare of the Middle Ages. The site of the cairn is also referred to as the location of encampments in 1341 and 1643-4. The small brick building which has been constructed on the south west part of the mound and all fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 25188

Legacy System: RSM


NZ 16 NW 26,

End of official listing