Ewden Beck round barrow cemetery and cross-dyke


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Ewden Beck round barrow cemetery and cross-dyke
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 06-Dec-2019 at 13:04:02.


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

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 23565 96325

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (2000 -700bc). They comprise closely-spaced groups of 30 or more round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several types of barrow. Where large scale excavation has been undertaken, contemporary or later `flat' burials are frequently found between the barrow mounds. Such barrow cemeteries are found widely across both lowland and upland Britain. In many cases, and as here, they are found in close association with other broadly contemporary monument types. They are often found in prominent locations which makes them a major historic element in the modern landscape whilst their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early Prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are worthly of protection. Cross-dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.20km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millenium from the middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross-dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the Prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well preserved examples will merit statutory protection. Both the cross-dyke and round barrow cemetery at Ewden Beck survive well and will retain considerable information on the original form and use of the monuments. They are considered to be the last surviving evidence for more extensive exploitation of this area during the Bronze Age.


The site lies south of Ewden Beck and comprises a Bronze Age round-barrow cemetery bisected by a cross-dyke. The cemetery is composed of upward of a hundred small round barrows, varying between c.0.2m and 1m high and rarely more than c.3m in diameter with the barrows concentrated more to the north than the south. The arrangement is a random mixture of individual barrows, pairs, close and dispersed groups and lines of three or more. The average distance between groups is c.20m whilst, within groups, the distance between examples is between 1m and 10m. Although overgrown with bracken, heather and bilberry, the cemetery appears superficially to consist largely of bowl- barrows, but also includes a few which may be ring-cairns. To the east of the group, a few examples have been partially damaged by the creation of a track but nevertheless retain enough of their original character and material to be included in the scheduling. The cemetery is bisected by a linear earthwork, c.1200m long, known locally as the Broomhead Dyke. The relationship between this linear earthwork and the cemetery is not yet fully understood, but it is clear that the barrows concentrate more to the north than to the south of this feature. The earthwork consists of a single v- shaped ditch, up to 2m deep in places and averaging 3m wide, with traces of a bank on the south side. The monument is a Bronze Age land or territorial division of the type known as a cross-dyke. The wall and fence along the top of the cross-dyke are excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath is included. The site is associated with a separate monument known as Ewden Beck ring-cairn, c.100m north of the cemetery.

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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912)
Smith (Archaeologist - Peak District NP, Re John Barnatt's views on the site,


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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