Burnt mound 570m east of Widdy Bank Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017126

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Burnt mound 570m east of Widdy Bank Farm
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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: Lunedale

National Grid Reference: NY 84294 29704


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.

The burnt mound 570m east of Widdy Bank Farm survives well and forms 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 a burnt mound on the Tees floodplain below Cronkley Scar, Upper Teesdale. The mound lies on the south side of the Tees, near the south edge of the floodplain, adjacent to a small sike. The burnt mound is visible as an approximately circular, grass and heather covered bank of burnt stone and charcoal, around a central hollow. It is 13m in total diameter. The bank of burnt stone is up to 5m wide and 1m high. There are two breaks in the bank, one in the south side and one in the west.

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: 33493

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing