Sand Hill round cairn, 90m south of Coldman Hargos boundary stone


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020038

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Sand Hill round cairn, 90m south of Coldman Hargos boundary stone
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Commondale


National Grid Reference: NZ 66854 10754


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.

Excavations of round cairns and barrows in the region have shown that they demonstrate a very wide range of burial rites from simple scatters of cremated material to coffin inhumations and cremations contained in urns, typically dating to the Bronze Age. A common factor is that they were normally used for more than one burial and that the primary burial was frequently on or below the original ground surface, often with secondary burials located within the body of the mound. Most include a small number of grave goods. These are often small pottery food vessels, but stone, bone, jet and bronze items have also occasionally been found. In the Bronze Age, many round cairns are thought to have acted as territorial markers in addition to their role as burial sites. Sand Hill round cairn, sited on the south western edge of Brown Hill, is considered to be one such example.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric burial mound, located on the line of the old Commondale-Danby parish boundary, 600m north east of the centre of Commondale. Sand Hill round cairn survives as a 16m diameter stone and sandy earth mound up to 0.7m high. On its western flank there are two exposed kerb stones, and there is evidence for further concealed kerb stones around the rest of the circuit. At the centre of the cairn there is a 0.3m by 0.2m standing stone rising 0.8m above the top of the mound. This was formerly used as a parish boundary stone. The monument is sited on a level area of ground some 200m to the north and west of the top of the scarp above the River Esk. Excavations of other barrows has shown that even where no encircling depression is discernible on the modern ground surface, ditches immediately around the outside of cairns frequently survive as infilled features, containing additional archaeological deposits.

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: 30165

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing