Bronze Age enclosed urnfield on Moorsholm Moor, 300m west of Dimmingdale Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018806

Date first listed: 07-Jun-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bronze Age enclosed urnfield on Moorsholm Moor, 300m west of Dimmingdale Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lockwood


National Grid Reference: NZ 68589 11871


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

Reasons for Designation

An enclosed Bronze Age urnfield is a burial ground in which cremations, usually placed in cinerary urns, were interred within a circular enclosure up to 30m in diameter. This was formed by either a ditch, a bank, or a bank within a stone circle. There was normally an entrance or causeway allowing access into the enclosure, where a central mound or standing stone is sometimes found. Excavated examples are known to date to the Middle Bronze Age between the 16th and 11th centuries BC. Enclosed Bronze Age urnfields are largely found in the north of England, mainly in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland, although their distribution also extends into Scotland. They are a rare type of Bronze Age burial monument, with fewer than 50 identified examples and provide an important insight into beliefs and social organisation during this period. All positively identified examples are considered to be nationally important

Despite limited disturbance the urnfield on Moorsholm Moor, 300m west of Dimmingdale Farm is in a good state of preservation. Significant information about the date and form of its construction will be preserved. Important evidence for the nature and duration of the rituals involved in its use will survive in the interior of the enclosure. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the banks and within the buried ditch. This monument is one of only four or five similar embanked oval enclosures on the North York Moors which are interpreted as a regionally distinct form of urnfield. They share characteristics in common with funerary and ritual monuments of both Late Neolithic and Bronze Age date and as such will contain important information to aid our understanding of the development and complexity of funerary and ritual practice during these periods. This example is situated in a group of prehistoric monuments which also includes round barrows, cup marked rocks, clearance cairns and a stone hut circle. Monument groupings such as these offer important scope for the study of the distribution of prehistoric activity across the landscape.


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


The monument includes an oval earthwork identified as a Bronze Age urnfield situated in a prominent position on the northern edge of the North York Moors. It is visible as a well defined oval, enclosed by a continuous earthen bank up to 2.5m wide and standing up to 0.7m high. It has maximum dimensions of 35m north to south and 18m east to west. The bank was originally faced with a kerb of stones around the outer edge and these are visible in two places on the north west and south east of the perimeter. The bank is surrounded by a ditch up to 2m wide and 0.3m deep. This is no longer visible on the north west side of the enclosure, having been filled in over the years by soil slipping from the bank. The ditch was originally surrounded by an outer bank up to 2m wide but this has weathered away with time and is no longer visible as an earthwork, apart from traces which can be seen on the southern and eastern edges of the enclosure. Partial excavation in 1959 uncovered a pit in the centre of the southern half and this was interpreted as a cremation pit. The monument lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

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: 32004

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, G M, Bronze Age Burial Mounds in Cleveland, (1980)
Hayes, R H, 'Research report' in The Chambered Cairn and adjacent monuments on Great Ayton Moor, , Vol. 7, (1967), 34-35
Vyner, B, 'Antiquity' in The Territory Of Ritual: Cross-Ridge Boundaries in Cleveland, , Vol. 68, (1994), 27-38

End of official listing