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Four square barrows in Wykeham Forest, 330m north of Loft Howe

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Four square barrows in Wykeham Forest, 330m north of Loft Howe

List entry Number: 1017091

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hutton Buscel

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Aug-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Mar-2001

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32518

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified. Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are also known. A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the body of the deceased. Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments, although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of protection.

The Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round and square barrows. The very large number of burial monuments includes particularly rare examples of square barrows surviving as upstanding earthworks, and these will preserve a range of evidence within and upon the flat-topped mounds which does not survive on plough flattened examples elsewhere. These square barrows form an important group of this monument type which will provide valuable insight into cultural development during the Iron Age. The spatial and chronological relationships between the round and square barrows in the Wykeham Forest area, and between both types of barrow and other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Despite disturbance, the two barrows at the south east of the group 330m north of Loft Howe survive well. Significant information about the original form of the barrows, the burials placed beneath them and any rituals associated with their construction and use will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mounds and within the buried ditches. Although not now visible as earthworks, the two other barrows will preserve valuable information about the burials placed beneath them and their buried ditches will contain important environmental evidence. Flat graves will also survive in the intervening areas and evidence for the chronological relationship between the barrows will be preserved.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a group of four square barrows situated on level ground towards the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. The most southern barrow has a flat-topped earthen mound which stands up to 0.5m high. It is almost square in plan with sides measuring 7m and it is orientated approximately north to south. Originally the mound would have been surrounded by a ditch up to 2m wide, but this has become filled in over the years by soil slipping from the mound and is now no longer visible as an earthwork feature. The second barrow is situated 35m to the north east. It has an earthen mound which stands up to 0.4m high. It is almost square in plan with sides measuring 8m and it is orientated approximately north to south. Originally the mound would have been surrounded by a ditch up to 2m wide, but this has become filled in over the years by soil slipping from the mound and is now no longer visible as an earthwork feature, except on the north and south sides where there is a slight dip. The third barrow is situated 32m to the WNW of the first and the fourth barrow is situated 40m to the ENE of the first. Originally, both would have had mounds of a similar size to the first two with a surrounding ditch up to 2m wide. However, these are no longer visible as earthworks having been levelled by forestry ploughing and the construction of a forestry track respectively, although the grave pits and ditches will survive as subsoil cut features. Forestry furrows cross the three southern barrows in a north to south direction. An unsurfaced forestry track runs in an ENE to WSW direction through the northern part of the monument. The barrows lie within a dense concentration of prehistoric burial monuments in an area which also includes the remains of prehistoric settlement and land division.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Lee, G E, Wykeham Archaeological Survey, (1991)

National Grid Reference: SE 94996 88373

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1017091 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 06:50:30.

End of official listing