Round barrow cemetery (including the barrows known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019936

Date first listed: 07-Mar-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery (including the barrows known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm
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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: Allerston

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Ebberston and Yedingham


National Grid Reference: SE 90325 90635, SE 90346 90505


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their 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 protection.

Despite limited disturbance, the round barrow cemetery (including the barrows known as Three Howes) 220m and 360m north west of South Moor Farm, has survived well. Significant information about the construction of the component barrows and the burials placed within them will be preserved. Any flat graves will survive in the area between the barrows. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mounds. This is one of only a few barrow cemeteries on the North York Moors, and provides a marked contrast to other Bronze Age burial monuments in this area which occur either singly, in small clusters or in widely dispersed groupings. As such, it will provide important insight into the development of ritual and funerary practice during the Bronze Age. The eastern Tabular Hills is an area which has many networks of prehistoric land boundaries. These are thought to represent systems of territorial land division which were constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds. The Dalby Forest and Scamridge areas have a particular concentration which is thought to have originated in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, earlier than most other prehistoric boundary systems on the Tabular Hills. The networks within this concentration, and many of their component boundaries, are notably complex and are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Together with other burial monuments in the area, the barrows within this cemetery are also considered to represent territorial markers, which would have been part of the system of boundaries dividing the area between Troutsdale in the south and the scarp edge of the Tabular Hills in the north. The relationships between the cemetery and the other land boundaries in the landscape surrounding it are important for understanding the division and use of the landscape for social, ritual and agricultural purposes during the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery which is situated in a prominent position between the heads of Staindale and Deep Dale, towards the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. It lies within two separate areas of protection divided by Dalby Forest Drive. The cemetery has seven round barrows which are in a linear arrangement, oriented NNW to SSE; six are in a direct alignment, although the second from the north is offset slightly to the east of the line. They are spaced between 45m and 60m apart. The seventh barrow is situated to the immediate east of the third barrow from the north. The most northerly barrow has an earth and stone mound which measures 30m in diameter and stands up to 2.2m high. The other barrows have earthen mounds which measure between 12m and 23m in diameter and stand between 0.3m and 2.1m high. The three most northerly barrows are the largest and most prominent and are known as the Three Howes. The four most southerly barrows have been reduced in size by ploughing; formerly their diameters were between 15m and 30m. The barrow to the east of the main alignment is the most affected by plough reduction and is visible only as a slight rise up to 0.3m high. Partial excavation in the past has left a hollow in the centre of four of the seven barrow mounds. Any burials which were placed in the area between the barrows are not visible, but will survive below the ground surface as buried features. An old footpath, visible as a linear depression, runs in a north east to south west direction past the northern edge of the most southern barrow. The round barrow cemetery lies in an area which has many other prehistoric monuments, including further burials and the remains of prehistoric land division. The surface of the gravelled forestry track which runs past the north west corner of the monument and a fence which runs east to west across the southern edge of the second barrow from the north are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 34678

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989)
Bastow, M, AM107, (1998)
Craster, OE, AM7, (1968)

End of official listing