Cairnfield and two round barrows 500m north west of Sleddale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016576

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield and two round barrows 500m north west of Sleddale
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Guisborough


National Grid Reference: NZ 61530 12246


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

Reasons for Designation

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

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. In northern England they are sometimes found as components of cairnfields. 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 organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Despite limited disturbance, these barrows have survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrows and the burials placed within them will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use will also survive beneath the barrow mounds. Significant information about the form and development of the cairnfield will also survive and evidence for the nature of Bronze Age agriculture and earlier land use will be preserved between and beneath the cairns. The relationship between the cairnfield and the two barrows will provide evidence for the diversity and development of social and ritual practice. The cairnfield and barrows 500m north west of Sleddale are situated within an area which includes further burial monuments, field systems and cairnfields. Associated groups of monuments such as these offer important scope for the study of the distribution and development of prehistoric activity across the landscape.


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


The monument includes a small cairnfield and two adjacent round barrows situated on the south east flank of Codhill Heights overlooking Sleddale. The cairnfield is visible as eight cairns distributed across a terrace orientated north to south along the hillslope. The cairns are sub-circular mounds constructed from small and medium sized stones, and two are constructed around large erratic boulders. They vary in size from 3m to 4m in diameter and stand between 0.3m and 0.5m high. They are field clearance cairns which are the result of clearing the ground to improve it for agriculture. Some of the cairns have suffered disturbance from burrowing animals. At the south end of the cairnfield are the two barrows. Both barrows have an earth and stone mound which was originally surrounded by a kerb of stones to define the barrow and support the mound. However, over the years some of these stones have been taken away or buried by soil slipping off the mound. The south western barrow mound is well defined with a flat top. It is 9m in diameter and stands up to 0.9m high. Kerb stones are visible on all sides except at the south east. In the centre of the mound there is a hollow caused by excavations in the past. The second barrow lies 30m to the north east. It has a mound 6m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. There are two boulders on the south side which were part of the kerb. A footpath passes in a north to south direction between the two barrows and through the cairnfield. The monument lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including further barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

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: 32023

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)

End of official listing