Western of four round barrows known as Three Howes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018992

Date first listed: 10-Apr-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Western 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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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 21:43:31.


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 71494 94859


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 westernmost barrow has been partly excavated, most of its original volume survives undisturbed. The small, undisturbed mound on the barrows's western margin adds to the importance of the monument.


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, with a smaller mound immediately to the west. The large barrow is the westernmost 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 Rosedale to the north and east, and Hutton and Loskey ridges to the south west. The barrow is on the highest point on the spur and 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, but with a quantity of stone typically 0.4m across and a kerbing of larger stones observable around the north and south west flanks. It survives as a 23m diameter mound standing to 2.4m on its northern side. The barrow shows evidence of antiquarian excavation, with two well weathered trenches cut through the south and east flanks to meet in a central 1.4m deep hollow. The excavation spoil can be clearly seen spread to the south and east of the barrow. Centred 12m to the west of the middle of the large barrow there is a second mound 4m in diameter and 0.3m high. This does not have the appearance of a spoil heap, and the adjacent flank of the large barrow is undisturbed. Instead it is considered to be a close contemporary with the main barrow and is thought to cover a secondary burial. 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: 32651

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing