Three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019345

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Oct-2000


Ordnance survey map of Three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge
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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: Helmsley

National Grid Reference: SE 62190 83695


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.

The three round barrows 800m ENE of Helmsley Bridge are very well-preserved and do not appear to have been disturbed by antiquarian excavation which has been the case with a large proportion of the barrows in the area.


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


The monument includes three round barrows and their associated buried remains, located to the east of Helmsley, south of Linkfoot Lane. The round barrows are regularly spaced, each 70m apart from the next, in a north-south line. They occupy the centre of a slightly raised area of ground above and to the east of Spittal Beck, on the north side of the River Rye. None show any evidence of archaeological excavation or damage by modern farming practices. The northernmost barrow is the largest, standing up to 1.3m high and 27m in diameter. Its profile is quite uniform and regular with a slightly flat top some 5m-6m in diameter. The middle barrow stands 1m high and 17m in diameter with hints of a surrounding ditch up to 6m wide. Its profile is also quite regular, but has been slightly disturbed by rabbits in the past. The southernmost barrow is the smallest, standing 0.4m high and 15m in diameter. Its south eastern third is crossed by a hedge line with a narrow ditch up to 0.4m wide running along the north western side of the hedge. The areas between the barrows are included within the monument because excavation has shown that such areas frequently retain associated features such as additional contemporary and later human burials without covering mounds. Excavation of other examples of round barrows in the region have also 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. Margins to allow for such infilled ditches up to 6m wide are thus also included within the monument. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 32674

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing