Basin Howe: a round barrow immediately north of Wellspring Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Basin Howe: a round barrow immediately north of Wellspring Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Scarborough (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 92057 86848

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in 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.

Despite limited disturbance, Basin Howe round barrow immediately north of Wellspring Farm, is in a very good state of preservation. Unlike many barrows in this area it does not appear to have been excavated in the past and it will therefore have undisturbed archaeological deposits in the centre relating to the primary burials, which are less likely to survive in the part-excavated barrows. Significant information about the original form of the barrow and the burials placed within it will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mound and outer bank and within the buried ditch. This is the only barrow on the eastern Tabular Hills which is known to have been constructed with an outer bank and as such is a rare and important example which illustrates the diversity of burial practice within the area. It lies in an area where there are many other burial monuments, as well as a concentration of prehistoric land boundaries. The relationships between these monuments are important for understanding the division and use of the landscape for social, ritual and agricultural purposes during the later prehistoric period.


The monument includes a round barrow which is situated in a prominent position on level ground towards the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. The barrow has an earth and stone mound which stands up to 3m high and has a maximum diameter of 32m. The mound was originally surrounded by a ditch with an outer bank. The ditch has become largely filled in over the years by soil slipping from the mound and the bank has been levelled, so that they are only visible as earthwork features in the north west quadrant, where the ditch survives up to 5m wide and 0.2m deep and the bank survives up to 3m wide and 0.2m high. The barrow has been disturbed in the past by the insertion of a stone-built shed into the southern side of the mound and by the construction on the top of the mound of a brick platform to support a water tank. The barrow lies in an area where there are many other burial monuments as well as the remains of prehistoric land division. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling. These are: all walls crossing the monument, the surface of the paved driveway, the brick water tank support with water tank and pipes, the calor gas tank and supply pipes and the stone shed set into the side of the mound; however, the ground beneath all these features 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Manby, T G, 'Archaeology in Eastern Yorkshire' in The Neolithic in Eastern Yorkshire, (1988), 35-88
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Morecroft, H, (2001)


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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