High Snapes ring cairn, 670m north east of Spaunton Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018978

Date first listed: 10-Apr-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of High Snapes ring cairn, 670m north east of Spaunton Lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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: Hutton-le-Hole


National Grid Reference: SE 70631 92896


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

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

High Snapes ring cairn is a well preserved example of this rare form of monument. It is one of a small number of ring cairns on the North York Moors.


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


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial monument known as a ring cairn. It is marked as an enclosure by the Ordnance Survey and lies on Hutton Ridge, 670m north east of Spaunton Lodge. The ring cairn is sited on a south facing hillside, approximately 60m west of a break in slope above Loskey Beck. The ring cairn is formed by an earth and stone bank 21m in diameter measured from centre to centre, with an external diameter of 24m. The bank stands to 0.5m high and is spread to between 3m and 4m, but appears to have a mainly stone core 2m wide. In places, especially on the west side, the outer face of the bank has a kerbing of large stone slabs typically 0.5m by 0.5m, with most of the stones forming the bank being smaller. On the south east side there is a 1m wide gap through the bank flanked by stones aligned across the line of the bank. The interior of the ring cairn is slightly undulating and includes a scatter of surface stone. The ring cairn is sited on gently sloping ground and its interior appears to have been slightly levelled up on the south side to accommodate this. On the north side the ground level inside the cairn is the same as that externally whereas on the south side it is up to 0.2m higher. Although there is no obvious ditch visible around the ring cairn, a 3m margin has been included around the mound to allow for its likely survival. This is because a number of other examples on the North York Moors have been found, after excavation, to be encircled by a ditch. These ditches can survive as infilled features, rather than as earthworks, and will then retain additional archaeological deposits aiding our understanding of the changing local environment.

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: 32657

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing