Long barrow on Newton Mulgrave Moor, 250m east of Birchdale House
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1016572
Date first listed: 31-May-1983
Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jul-1999
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: North Yorkshire
District: Scarborough (District Authority)
Parish: Newton Mulgrave
National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS
National Grid Reference: NZ 77612 14328
Reasons for Designation
Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and
their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be
Despite limited disturbance, the long barrow 250m east of Birchdale House survives well. Significant information about the original form of the monument, the burials placed within it and the rituals associated with them will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mound and within the buried quarry ditches. It is one of only a few monuments dating to the Neolithic period to be found in the North York Moors surviving as an earthwork. The long barrow is situated within an area which includes monuments dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Associated groups of monuments such as these demonstrate a continuity of occupation throughout the prehistoric period and offer important scope for the study of the distribution and development of prehistoric activity across the landscape.
The monument includes a long barrow situated in a prominent position at the
top of a north east and north west facing slope on the edge of the North York
The barrow has an earth and stone mound which is ovoid in shape, with its long
axis oriented ESE to WNW. The mound measures 36m in length and is 13m wide at
the west end and 20m wide at the east end. It stands up to 2.6m high at the
east end, with the top sloping down towards the west. On the top of the mound
and on the north side there are a number of small hollows caused by the
robbing of stone from the fabric of the mound. Originally the mound would have
been narrower and trapezoidal in shape with flanking quarry ditches up to 3m
wide along its north and south edges. However, over the years erosion and
stone robbing have resulted in a more rounded shape and soil has slipped from
the mound, increasing its width and burying the quarry ditches which are no
longer visible as earthworks. There would also have been a forecourt area up
to 10m wide in front of the east end of the mound where rituals connected with
the use of the barrow would have taken place. There is nothing of this visible
now, but archaeological remains will survive as subsoil features. The long
barrow lies in an area rich in prehistoric remains, including further burial
A public bridleway runs in a north to south direction to the east of the
barrow mound and passes immediately adjacent to it at the north east corner.
All field boundary walls and a concrete water tank set into the ground to the
north of the west end of the barrow 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 32037
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Vyner, B E, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in The Excavation of a Neolithic Cairn at Street House, Loftus, Cld, , Vol. 50, (1984), 151-195
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