Round barrow on Dunsley Moor, known as Swarth Howe
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Feb-2020 at 19:08:08.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- North Yorkshire
- Scarborough (District Authority)
- National Park:
- NORTH YORK MOORS
- National Grid Reference:
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
Despite limited disturbance the round barrow on Dunsley Moor, known as Swarth Howe has survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrow and the burials placed within it will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mound. Together with other burial monuments in the area, this barrow is thought to represent a territorial marker. Similar monument groups are known across the west and central areas of the North York Moors and provide valuable insight into burial practice and land division for social and ritual purposes.
The monument includes a round barrow situated in a prominent position on the
north edge of the North York Moors.
The barrow has an earth and stone mound which stands up to 2m high and has a
maximum diameter of 25m. The barrow was originally surrounded by a kerb of
stones which defined the barrow and supported the mound. However, over the
years many of these stones have been taken away or buried by soil slipping off
the mound. In the centre of the mound there is a hollow, the result of the
partial excavation of the barrow in 1852 by S Anderson. He discovered a cist
burial consisting of stone slabs set vertically into a rectangular shape
around a cremation and covered with a further stone positioned horizontally.
He also found two other cremations, an inhumation burial as well as two jet
ornaments and a bone pin.
The barrow is one in a line of three (the others are the subject of separate
schedulings) and lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments including
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 86
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing