Square barrow in Broxa Forest, 720m south west of Surgate Brow Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019562

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Square barrow in Broxa Forest, 720m south west of Surgate Brow Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:34:05.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Suffield-cum-Everley


National Grid Reference: SE 97154 93228


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

Reasons for Designation

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified. Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are also known. A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the body of the deceased. Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments, although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of protection.

The square barrow in Broxa Forest, 720m south of Surgate Brow Farm is a rare example of a square barrow surviving as an upstanding earthwork. It will preserve a range of evidence within and upon the flat-topped mound which does not survive on the plough-flattened examples elsewhere. It is one of only a few to be identified on the Hackness Hills, although there is a greater concentration on the Tabular Hills to the south west. The Hackness square barrows form an important group of this monument type which will provide valuable insight into cultural development during the Iron Age. Despite limited disturbance, this barrow has survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrow, the burials placed beneath it and any rituals associated with its construction and use will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mound and within the buried ditch. The barrow lies in an area where there are both round and square barrows, as well as the remains of prehistoric land division. This kind of association provides valuable insight into the development of social, ritual and funerary practice during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the spatial and chronological relationships between the two types of barrow.


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


The monument includes a square barrow situated on level ground towards the eastern edge of the Hackness Hills. The barrow has a flat-topped earth and stone mound which stands up to 0.8m high. It is sub-rectangular in plan, oriented north to south, and measures 7m by 5m. The mound was originally surrounded by a ditch up to 2m wide but this has become in-filled over the years by soil slipping from the mound so that it is no longer visible as an earthwork. The outer edge of the buried ditch has been clipped on the west side by an old hollow way which runs in a north west to south east direction. The barrow lies in an area where there are many other prehistoric burial monuments, including both round and square barrows, as well as the remains of prehistoric land division.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 34550

Legacy System: RSM


Title: Forestry Commission Areas North York Moors Archaeological Survey Source Date: 1992 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Site 3.19

End of official listing