Ring cairn 240m north east of Old Quickening Cote


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017726

Date first listed: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn 240m north east of Old Quickening Cote
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alwinton


National Grid Reference: NT 87306 06611


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

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn near Old Quickening Cote is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is an example of a relatively rare monument type and will add greatly to our understanding of Bronze Age funerary practice.


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


The monument includes the remains of a ring cairn of Bronze Age date, situated on a south facing spur of Inner Hill. The elevated situation affords extensive views in all directions except the north to which the ground rises steeply. The ring cairn, which measures a total of 15m in diameter, is visible as a low circular annular bank on average 2m wide and 0.25m high. The annular bank encloses a central space which measures 11m in diameter and the low earthworks visible within the interior are thought to cover the remains of several burials.

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: 28563

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Charlton, B, Fifty centuries of Peace and War, (1996), 28

End of official listing