Round cairn cemetery 1000m north west of Heddon Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019920

Date first listed: 20-Jul-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn cemetery 1000m north west of Heddon Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 21:43:01.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ilderton


National Grid Reference: NT 99531 20782


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

Reasons for Designation

Round cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age. They comprise groups of cairns sited in close proximity to one another and take the form of stone mounds constructed to cover single or multiple burials. Contemporary or later `flat' graves may lie between individual cairns. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time and they can exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form. Occasionally they are associated with earlier long cairns. They may also be associated with clearance cairns - heaps of stones cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for agricultural activities; these were also being constructed during the Bronze Age, although some examples are of later date. It may be impossible without excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round cairn cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Often occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

Although the largest round cairn has been partly robbed, the extent of disturbance to the round cairn cemetery 1000m north west of Heddon Hill is limited and archaeological deposits survive reasonably well. The cemetery will contain evidence within, beneath and between the cairns relating to agricultural and funerary practices. It is one of a number of prehistoric sites of good quality on and around Dod Hill and will contribute to any study of land use and burial practices during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn cemetery of Bronze Age date, situated on a level terrace above the Lilburn Burn and overlooked by Dod Hill to the west. The cemetery is visible as the remains of up to five round cairns of stone and earth construction. The largest of the five round cairns, which is of loose stone construction, is 23m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 1.3m on its western side; parts of the eastern half of the cairn have been disturbed by stone removal. There are the remains of a stone kerb around the south side of the cairn. To the south and east of the main cairn there are the remains of a further four round cairns lying at a distance of between 3.5m and 18m. The round cairns range in size from 3.5m to 5m in diameter and stand to a maximum of 0.5m high. One of the smaller cairns has traces of a stone kerb around its perimeter.

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: 31749

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing