One of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad Hole


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019518

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of One of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad Hole
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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: Bransdale


National Grid Reference: SE 63142 98276


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 majority of round barrows in the region were dug into by 19th century antiquarians in search of burials and artifacts, leaving behind a central depression as evidence of their work. However excavations in the latter half of the 20th century have shown that round barrows typically contain archaeological information that survives earlier digging. Secondary burials tend to be located within the main body of the mound and sometimes one of these was mistaken for the primary burial which was usual the goal of the antiquarian. Even when the primary burial has been excavated, further secondary burials often survive in the undisturbed surrounding part of the mound and infilled ditch. Additional valuable information about the mound's construction and the local environment at the time of its construction will also survive antiquarian excavation. This one of four round barrows known as Three Howes, 740m north east of Toad Hole is one of an important group of relatively well-preserved round barrows which will retain important information about Bronze Age society.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and associated buried remains of the smallest and least prominent of a group of four prehistoric burial mounds known as Three Howes. A closely spaced pair of mounds lie centred 110m to the south east and the fourth barrow lies 110m to the NNW, all of which are the subject of separate schedulings. Unlike the other three barrows in the group, the monument does not form a prominent skyline feature, being relatively low, although it has fine all round views, especially down Bransdale to the south west. All four round barrows are sited on the western, highest side of the plateau forming the highest part of Rudland Rigg. The monument is sited on level ground, just east of the break of slope down into Bransdale. It survives as an 11m diameter mound 0.6m high with a 2.5m diameter concave hollow in its top which is a maximum of 0.3m deep. 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 around the barrow is thus also included within the monument.

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: 32698

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
McDonnell, J, A History of Helmsley Rievaulx and District, (1963), 379

End of official listing