Round barrow south east of California Belt, 270m east of Fox Head

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1017166
Date first listed:
14-Dec-1960
Date of most recent amendment:
09-May-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Round barrow south east of California Belt, 270m east of Fox Head
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
North Yorkshire
District:
Scarborough (District Authority)
Parish:
Hutton Buscel
National Park:
NORTH YORK MOORS
National Grid Reference:
SE 95881 87182

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Prehistoric rock art is found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in Northumberland, Durham and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the `cup and ring' marking, where expanses of small cup-like hollows are pecked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the rings may also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can also exist in isolation from cup and ring decoration. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials or incorporated into burial mounds. Around 800 examples of prehistoric rock art have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic reflection of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been overgrown or destroyed in activities such as quarrying. All positively identified prehistoric rock art sites exhibiting a significant group of designs normally will be identified as nationally important. 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 spatial and chronological relationships between the round and square barrows in this 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. Although it has been excavated, the round barrow south east of California Belt, 270m east of Fox Head retains some of its decorated kerb stones which will provide evidence for the diversity of prehistoric `art' on the North York Moors. The barrow is one of several which include decorated cup marked stones, distributed along the northern and eastern periphery of the North York Moors and as such it can be dated earlier than many similar barrows found on the central moorland.

Details

The monument includes a round barrow situated on level ground towards the northern edge of the Tabular Hills. The barrow is visible as an earthen mound which stands up to 0.3m high and has been spread by ploughing. The barrow was excavated by T Brewster in 1965. The excavations showed that the barrow mound had a diameter of 18m and was surrounded by a kerb of stones to define it, many of which were decorated with cup marks and linear markings. The stones are no longer visible, most having been excavated, but some remain buried in the ground. It was also shown that the mound was constructed above an inhumation, sealed by a limestone platform, and that it contained four secondary cremation burials. The barrow lies 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 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
33737
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Brewster, T C M, Finney, A E, Excavation of seven round barrows on the moorlands of N E Yorks, (1995), 6-10
Lee, G E, Wykeham Archaeological Survey, (1991)
Other
Title: Source Date: 1999 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

Legal

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

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