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Three round barrows 130m north west of Seavy Pond

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Three round barrows 130m north west of Seavy Pond

List entry Number: 1020684

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Levisham

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Jan-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Oct-2002

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35462

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The three round barrows 130m north west of Seavy Pond survive well and, although partly disturbed, they are relatively well-preserved. Excavation of other round 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 barrows 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 barrows 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. Excavation has also shown that even where no encircling depression is discernible on the modern ground surface, ditches immediately around the outside of barrows frequently survive as infilled features, containing additional archaeological deposits.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of three prehistoric burial mounds or barrows, located on the edge of West Side Brow on the western side of Levisham Moor. The barrows are located in a line along the edge of the slope overlooking the steep sided valley of Newton Dale. Levisham Moor lies on the southern edge of the sandstone, predominantly heather covered moor characteristic of the North York Moors. The moor occupies the northern part of a block of land defined by the deep valleys of Newton Dale to the west, Horcum Slack to the east, Havern Beck to the north and Levisham Beck to the south. The eastern side of the moor is bisected by smaller valleys known locally as griffs which divide the moor into a series of flat-topped peninsulas with steep slopes on all but their north western sides. The southern part of the block of land has been enclosed and brought into agricultural use but traces of prehistoric remains in this area are visible on aerial photographs. Today the moor is little used but archaeological evidence indicates that this has not always been the case. Both the prehistoric and medieval periods saw intensive use of the land for agricultural, industrial and ritual purposes. Remains of these activities survive today. The three barrows are located in a prominent position on the edge of the moor in a highly visible position on the skyline. The southern barrow has a flat-topped mound measuring 10m in diameter and 1m in height. The central barrow lies 10m to the north east and has an earthen mound 13m in diameter and 0.6m in height. The third barrow lies 15m to the north east of the central barrow. It has a low stony mound 10m in diameter and 0.4m in height. Other similar monuments elsewhere in the Moors sometimes have an encircling ditch around the mound although this can often be infilled and not visible as an earthwork. There are no visible surface remains of a ditch around these mounds. All of the mounds have a shallow hollow on the top that is the result of investigations in the past. This may have taken place in 1851 as it is known that a number of barrows on West Side Brow were opened in that year by Rev'd Robert Skelton. There are at least ten other barrows distributed over the moor most of which are in equally prominent positions. All these other barrows are the subject of separate schedulings.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Atkins, C, An Archaeological Investigation of Levisham Moor, (1991)
Atkins, C, An Archaeological Survey of the Levisham Estate, (1991)
Atkins, C, An Archaeological Survey of the Levisham Estate, (1991)
Hayes, , Turnbull, , Levisham Moor Archaeological Investigations 1957-1978, (1990)

National Grid Reference: SE 83248 93610

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 10:59:04.

End of official listing