Eastern of four round barrows known as Three Howes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018975

Date first listed: 10-Apr-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Eastern of four round barrows known as Three Howes
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Spaunton


National Grid Reference: SE 71660 94741


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in 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.

Excavations of round barrows in the region have shown that they demonstrate a 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. Three Howes are an important and well preserved group of four barrows. Although the easternmost barrow has been partly excavated, most of its original volume survives undisturbed and will contain valuable archaeological information, typically including the primary and other secondary burials.


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


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a large prehistoric burial mound. The barrow is the easternmost of a group of four prominent round barrows known as Three Howes. The round barrow is prominently sited on top of a broad, south east pointing spur of Blakey Ridge, overlooking Spaunton Moor to the south, and Rosedale to the north and east. The barrow is sited on a slight natural rise about 0.5m above the surrounding general ground surface, just south east of the highest point on the spur. It is one of the three barrows in the group which can be easily seen on the skyline from a wide area. It appears to be mainly of earthen construction with very little stone observable and no evidence of an outer kerbing. It is a 24m diameter mound, 2.5m high, with a 5m diameter central excavation hollow up to 1m deep, and with spoil forming a slight mound on the barrow's south west flank. Although there is no obvious ditch visible around the barrow, a 3m margin has been included to allow for its likely survival. This is because excavations of other examples in the region have shown that, even where no encircling depression is discernible on the modern ground surface, ditches immediately around the outside of the mound frequently survive as infilled features, containing additional archaeological deposits.

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: 32653

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing