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
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. In the Bronze Age, many round barrows are thought to have acted as
territorial markers in addition to their role as burial sites. Little Blakey
Howe, placed on the spine of Blakey Ridge, is considered to be one such
example. This function has continued, as shown by the inscribed boundary
stone, and the barrow now marks a parish boundary.
Little Blakey Howe is a good example of a small round barrow and appears to be
largely undisturbed. The boundary stone, a good 18th century example
possibly reusing a prehistoric standing stone, adds additional interest.
The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial
mound which is topped by an 18th century boundary stone. It is located 430m
SSE of the Lion Inn, marked on the 1:10,000 map as Blakey House, just to the
west of the Castleton to Hutton-le-Hole road. It survives in an area
extensively worked for coal in the post-medieval period, an activity which has
left behind numerous spoil heaps.
The round barrow is prominently sited on the spine of Blakey Ridge and from it
a number of other prominently located barrows in the area can be seen.
However, it is not easily intervisible with these barrows, being only 5m in
diameter and standing 0.4m high. It is constructed of earth and stones, some
of which are over 0.4m across, and is topped by a boundary stone. This
boundary stone is roughly shaped and measures 0.2m by 0.3m by 2m high,
tapering towards its top. Leaning to the south, its north western face is
inscribed with the initials TD which is thought to refer to Thomas Duncombe
who owned the Duncombe Estate in the early 18th century. This stone may be a
reused prehistoric standing stone.
Although there is no ditch visible around the barrow, a 3m margin around the
mound 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 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.