Round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018408

Date first listed: 13-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Cropton

National Grid Reference: SE 76689 89459


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

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, 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 or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for 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 bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of 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.

Although the round barrow 350m north west of Hen Flatts is under plough, important archaeological information is considered to have survived as demonstrated by excavation at other similar sites. Where earthwork mounds can still be identified, the prehistoric ground surface tends to be below the plough horizon, thus the primary burials will be undisturbed by modern agriculture. Additionally, any encircling ditch will survive as an infilled feature. Excavations of round barrows in the region have shown that they demonstrate a very wide range of burial rites from simple scatters of cremated material to coffin inhumations and cremations contained in urns, typically dating to the Bronze Age. A common factor is that barrows were normally used for more than one burial and that the primary burial was frequently on or below the original ground surface, often with secondary burials located within the body of the mound. Most barrows include a small number of grave goods. These are often small pottery food vessels, but stone, bone, jet and bronze items have also occasionally been found. Shallow ditches and/or stone kerbs immediately encircling the mounds are also quite common.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial mound 350m north west of Hen Flatts. Hen Flatts round barrow survives as a 24m diameter mound rising to 0.5m. It stands just down slope on the north side of the Cawthorn ridge. In 1954 it was described as being pear shaped, measuring 23.5m east-west, 18m north-south with a thinner western end 13m in diameter, being stonier at its eastern end. In the winter of 1947-48 horse bones and burnt stones were brought to the surface during ploughing together with a couple of leaf shaped arrowheads. The barrow is one of a series of barrows on the ridge with two further examples lying 110m and 180m to the ESE which are the subject of separate schedulings.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 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: 30148

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Smith, M J B, Excavated Bronze Age Burial Mounds of Durham and N' land., (1994), 113

End of official listing