Round cairn 830m SSE of Ewartly


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020249

Date first listed: 10-Oct-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn 830m SSE of Ewartly
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Jan-2019 at 09:54:30.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alnham


National Grid Reference: NT 96368 12724


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

Reasons for Designation

In a densely settled and highly developed country such as England, the landscapes of all but the most bleak mountain summits are, to varying degrees, the product of centuries and millennia of human development. Except in areas today considered to be marginal, most traces of the earliest stages in this process have been erased or modified by later development and only survive in a fragmentary manner. The prehistoric settlement remains that survive beyond the margins of more recent cultivation in upland areas such as the Cheviots provide a rare opportunity to recognise the prehistoric shape of the landscape. The Breamish Valley is one of the main valleys draining the Cheviot Massif. Because of comprehensive field survey during the 1980s, it is also one of the best recorded upland areas in England. The field evidence for human activity within the valley is diverse and spans at least five millennia from the Neolithic to the post-medieval period. Of particular importance are the well- preserved and extensive upland prehistoric remains, including settlements, field systems and cairnfields. On the enclosed land within the valley, archaeological remains are more fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human activity extended below what is now open fell land. Due to excellent state of survival, their archaeological integrity, and their rarity in a national context, most recorded prehistoric and later monuments within the Breamish Valley will be identified as nationally important.

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 in 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 the fact that it has been partially disturbed, the round cairn 830m SSE of Ewartly is reasonably well-preserved. Evidence of the manner of its construction and the duration of its use will be contained within the mound. The presence of human remains and associated grave goods will inform our understanding of Bronze Age beliefs and burial rites. Important information about the environment in which the cairn was constructed will survive beneath the mound. The importance of the round cairn is enhanced by its proximity to other prehistoric cairns and settlements, which taken together will add greatly to our understanding of the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of a round cairn of Bronze Age date, situated in a prominent position on a west facing slope. Further prehistoric cairns and settlements in the vicinity are the subjects of separate schedulings. The round cairn, which is roughly circular in shape measures 7.5m east to west by 6.5m and stands to a maximum height of 1m on its western side. There is evidence of unrecorded investigation in the past at the centre of the cairn visible as two hollows 0.3m and 0.4m deep. The cairn was built of stone and earth and part of the matrix of the cairn is visible within these hollows. The north western side of the cairn has also been disturbed in the past; further stones have been revealed including one 0.65m long by 0.4m wide, thought to be part of a surrounding kerb marking the perimeter of the cairn.

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: 32770

Legacy System: RSM


NT91SE 140,

End of official listing