Two burnt mounds south of Blackmea Crag Sike, 590m south west of Castle House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017123

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Two burnt mounds south of Blackmea Crag Sike, 590m south west of Castle House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Holwick

National Grid Reference: NY 89767 26670


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

Reasons for Designation

A burnt mound is an accumulation of burnt (fire-crazed) stones, ash and charcoal, usually sited next to a river or lake. On excavation, some form of trough or basin capable of holding water is normally found in close association with the mound. The size of the mound can vary considerably; small examples may be under 0.5m high and less than 10m in diameter, larger examples may exceed 3m in height and be 35m in diameter. The shape of the mound ranges from circular to crescentic. The associated trough or basin may be found within the body of the mound or, more usually, immediately adjacent to it. At sites which are crescentic in shape the trough is normally found within the `arms' of the crescent and the mound has the appearance of having developed around it. The main phase of use of burnt mounds spans the Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age, a period of around 1000 years. The function of the mounds has been a matter of some debate, but it appears that cooking, using heated stones to boil water in a trough or tank, is the most likely use. Some excavated sites have revealed several phases of construction, indicating that individual sites were used more than once. Burnt mounds are found widely scattered throughout the British Isles, with around 100 examples identified in England. As a rare monument type which provides an insight into life in the Bronze Age, all well-preserved examples will normally be identified as nationally important.

These two burnt mounds south of Blackmea Crag Sike, 590m south west of Castle House survive well and form an important part of the wider prehistoric landscape of Upper Teesdale which includes burnt mounds, cairnfields, burial cairns, settlements, enclosures and field systems.


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


The monument includes two burnt mounds at a bend in Blackmea Crag Sike, east of Holwick Fell, Upper Teesdale. The burnt mounds are close together on the south side of the sike, one each side of a short length of modern drystone wall. The burnt mounds closely resemble each other; they are both 8m long, between 5m and 6m wide and about 0.6m high. Both are grass covered and crescent- shaped, each with the eastern arm of the crescent considerably broader than the western. On both mounds the broad arm of the crescent has a well defined hollow, about 2m in diameter. The more easterly of the two burnt mounds differs slightly in that it has an additional small grass covered mound of burnt stone about 3m east of the crescent.

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: 33489

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Laurie, T, Burnt mounds, (1999)

End of official listing