Shunner Howe round barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018763

Date first listed: 11-Jun-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Feb-1999


Ordnance survey map of Shunner Howe round barrow
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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: Hartoft

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Rosedale East Side

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Egton

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Glaisdale


National Grid Reference: SE 73702 99686


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.

Shunner Howe is an important and well preserved example of a prominently sited large barrow. 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. Modern excavations of barrows that were opened by 19th century antiquarians have shown that secondary and even primary burials frequently survive undisturbed. 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 which was later used to mark the junction between four parishes: Glaisdale, Egton , Rosedale East Side and Hartoft. Shunner Howe, which means `look-out hill' in Old Norse, is sited at the top of a hill which forms the south eastern spur of Glaisdale High Moor. Shunner Howe survives as a 25m diameter mound of earth and stone standing up to 2.5m high. It has a shallow 7m diameter central depression which is considered to be the result of an excavation, probably by James Rutter in the early 1850s. At the centre of this depression there is a small modern cairn of stones which marks the footpath that skirts the north side of the barrow. Around the southern side of the mound there is a 4m wide ditch with a 3m wide external bank which are both included in the scheduling.

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: 30156

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing