Pike Howe round cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018986

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Pike Howe round cairn
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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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Rosedale West Side


National Grid Reference: SE 69203 96162


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

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation 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 cairns and their earthen equivalents, round barrows, in the region have shown that they demonstrate a very 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 they 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 cairns and barrows are thought to have acted as territorial markers in addition to their role as burial sites. Pike Howe, placed on the centre line of Blakey Ridge, is considered to be one such example. This function has continued, as shown by the more recent cairn which marks the boundary between two parishes and estates. Pike Howe is a good example of a round cairn which has been little disturbed.


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


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial mound, topped by a more recent stone cairn which is also included in the scheduling. It is located 230m to the east of the Castleton to Hutton-le-Hole road, adjacent to a footpath crossing Blakey Ridge. The round cairn is sited on the centre line of Blakey Ridge, which at this point is a plateau about 600m east-west, gently sloping southwards. It is intervisible with burial mounds to the north along the ridge, as well as with the barrow group known as Three Howes to the south east. The cairn, which is constructed of stone and earth, is 12m in diameter and up to 0.9m high. On its eastern side there is a 1.4m high modern cairn which includes a flat slab 1m by 0.6m near its base. Although there is no ditch visible around the cairn, a 3m margin surrounding the mound is 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: 32645

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing