Round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor Cottage Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019768

Date first listed: 09-Apr-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor Cottage Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Harwood Dale


National Grid Reference: SE 96708 97023


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

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite disturbance, the round cairn on Cowgate Rigg, 925m north east of Moor Cottage Farm, has surviving archaeological deposits which will preserve significant information about the original form of the cairn and the burials placed within it. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the stony mound. The cairn was originally one of four distributed across Cowgate Rigg. It is situated within an area which also includes other groups of burial monuments as well as field systems and clearance cairns. The association with similar monuments provides insight into the distribution of ritual and funerary activity across the landscape during the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a round cairn situated on a gentle south west-facing slope. It lies on Middle Jurassic sandstone towards the eastern edge of the North York Moors. The cairn has a stony mound which stands up to 0.5m high. Formerly it had a diameter of 10m but this has been reduced by forestry ploughing at the edges so that now it measures only 6m in diameter. The full extent of the original mound is included in the area of protection. The round cairn lies in an area where there are many other prehistoric monuments, including funerary and ritual monuments as well as field systems and clearance cairns.

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: 34672

Legacy System: RSM


Title: 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey 25" sheet 62/10 Source Date: 1928 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Forestry Commission Areas North York Moors Archaeological Survey Source Date: 1992 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Site 5.17

End of official listing