Pike Howe round barrow on the southern end of Three Howes Rigg


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018742

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Pike Howe round barrow on the southern end of Three Howes Rigg
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Danby


National Grid Reference: NZ 68645 09546


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.

Pike Howe is a good example of the smaller type of round barrow found on the moors. 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. These are normally identified by excavation; Pike Howe is thus of particular note.


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 sited at the southern end of Three Howes Rigg, 1.4km north of Castleton. A group of five burial mounds forming a round barrow cemetery centred higher up on the Rigg, 1km to the NNW, is the subject of a separate scheduling. Pike Howe round barrow survives as a 9m diameter stone and earth mound, standing up to 0.5m high topped by a modern cairn of stones. It is surrounded by a largely infilled ditch 4m-5m wide with a slight, 1m wide external kerbing of earthfast stones, some exposed, most under a thin peat covering. The barrow is sited on level ground just north of the top of the scarp above the River Esk, at the southern end of Three Howes Rigg. It is clearly intervisible with the round barrow cemetery to the north, but is behind the skyline when climbing up the hill from the River Esk.

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: 30164

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing