Long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 88386 84367

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

Despite limited disturbance, the long barrow 530m north of Keeper's Cottage has survived well. Significant information about the original form of the barrow, the burials placed within it and the rituals associated with its use will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mound and within the buried ditches. The barrow lies in an area where there are many other prehistoric burial monuments, dating from the Bronze Age as well as the Neolithic. The association with similar monuments provides insight into the distribution of ritual and funerary activity across the landscape at different times during the prehistoric period.


The monument includes a long barrow which is situated towards the southern edge of the Tabular Hills, on level ground overlooking the valley of Ox Dale. The barrow has an earthen mound which is 28m long and is oriented east to west. The width of the mound tapers from 14m at the eastern end to 10m at the western end and its height tapers from 1.3m at the eastern end to 0.9m at the western end. Partial excavation in the past has left the surface of the mound irregular with shallow depressions. The mound was constructed with material from flanking quarry ditches; traces of the ditch on the north side of the mound survive as a linear hollow up to 3m wide and 0.4m deep, but that on the south side has become filled in over the years by soil slipping from the mound so that it is no longer visible as an earthwork. Originally there would have been a forecourt area in front of the eastern, higher end of the mound, where rituals relating to the use of the monument would have taken place. Traces of these activities will survive below the ground surface as pits, post-holes or hearths, although nothing is visible above the ground. The barrow lies in an area which has many other prehistoric monuments, including further burials and the remains of prehistoric land division.

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:
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Books and journals
Northern Archaeological Associates, , North York Moors Forest Survey Phase Two, (1996)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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