Round barrow 60m north east of Riccal Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019515

Date first listed: 05-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow 60m north east of Riccal 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: Beadlam

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Helmsley


National Grid Reference: SE 63294 84197


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.

Unlike the majority of round barrows in the region which were dug into by 19th century antiquarians in search of burials and artifacts, the round barrow 60m north east of Riccal Bridge appears largely undisturbed. Its importance is heightened by its proximity to Pockley Gates round barrow which is also believed to have avoided antiquarian excavation.


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


The monument is the western of a group of three prehistoric burial mounds, known as round barrows, just south of the foot of Wykeham Dale Hill extending eastwards from the River Riccal. The eastern barrow of the group, Pockley Gates round barrow 250m to the east, is the the largest and is the subject of a separate scheduling. The middle barrow, which was about 200m ENE, is believed to have been lost to road improvements. Riccal Bridge round barrow is a mound approximately 17m in diameter and up to 0.4m high. Its eastern edge, up to a maximum of 5m wide, has been lowered by up to 0.2m by ploughing. The barrow is sited close to the bank of the River Riccal and is crossed by a modern fenceline. The mapped depiction of the barrow symbol is slightly inaccurate as most of the mound lies on the western side of the fence and not on the eastern side as shown by the map symbol. With the removal of modern embankments and hedge lines, it would have been intervisible with the other two barrows in the group. However, unlike Pockley Gates round barrow it is not thought to have ever had lines of sight with the barrows to the east and south east of Helmsley. The position of Riccal Bridge round barrow, at the foot of the hill, rather than higher up, is thought to have the additional significance of marking an ancient route way which ran along the north side of the Vale of Pickering. Unlike most round barrows in the area, Riccal Bridge round barrow is not thought to have been disturbed by excavation in the past. Although the barrow is not encircled by an obvious ditch, excavation of other examples of round barrows 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. A margin to allow for such an infilled ditch up to 2m wide is 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: 32691

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
McDonnell, J, A History of Helmsley Rievaulx and District, (1963), 377

End of official listing