Round barrow and cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018979

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow and cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End
© 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: Farndale East


National Grid Reference: SE 68905 92843

Reasons for Designation

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic 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, covering single or multiple burials. They occur in isolation or grouped into cemeteries and often acted as a focus for later burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and burial practices. Often occupying prominent positions, their variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information about the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of the surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. The cairnfield 480m north east of Hagg End is a good example of its type and retains a wide of variety well preserved features, including a round barrow and a range of different types of clearance cairns which will retain important information about the prehistoric land use of the area.


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a concentration of clearance cairns forming a small prehistoric cairnfield, along with an associated burial mound. These features lie just east of Dale End Road on the south west facing hillside above Hagg End. The cairnfield includes at least a dozen stone clearance cairns concentrated in an area of hillside measuring about 1ha. A few further small cairns are widely scattered across the hillside beyond the boundaries of the monument, but are considered too isolated to include within the scheduling. The round barrow, which is marked on the 1:10,000 map as a cairn, lies in the south eastern corner of the cairnfield. It appears to be mainly constructed of earth with some stone, with exposed stones being typically less than 0.3m across, and forms a 9m diameter mound standing up to 0.8m high. The barrow has a central hollow 2m in diameter, 0.2m deep, and the edge of its south western flank is cut into by a south facing grouse butt. Although there is no 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. The cairns forming the cairnfield are all smaller than the round barrow. They are also much more irregular in shape and are constructed with a higher proportion of stone. The largest is 23m to the north west of the barrow. It is roughly circular, 6m in diameter and 0.5m high and may also have been used for burial, as it includes a rough arrangement of stone slabs which may be the disturbed remains of a small cist, a box to contain a cremation burial. More typically the cairns are 3m-4m across and around 0.3m high. Some are sited on large earthfast boulders, like the cairn 20m to the north of the grouse butt 50m west of the round barrow, and all are at least partly covered in peat. Some of the cairns can be seen to form a rough line; for instance, there are four which run east-west approximately 80m north west of the round barrow. A second line of cairns lies 10m to the north east of the disused grouse butt marked on the 1:10,000 map, 100m NNW of the round barrow. These cairns are different in that they merge into one another to form an 18m long bank up to 3m wide and 0.4m high which runs across the slope north-west to south-east. The monument is crossed by a hollow trackway which runs parallel to Dale End Road. The non-earthfast stones of the grouse butts which lie within the area of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 32658

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing