Round cairn 340m west of The Beacon


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021032

Date first listed: 06-Oct-2003


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn 340m west of The Beacon
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Harbottle


National Grid Reference: NT 95162 00302


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.

Inspite of the fact that its upper parts have been partially remodeled, the round cairn 340m west of The Beacon is reasonably well-preserved. The full extent of the structure remains in situ and will provide important information about the manner of its construction and the nature and length of its use. The round cairn is of particular importance as it is one of a group of large stone built cairns sited in prominent locations in the area. Taken together with these cairns and the remains of prehistoric settlements in the vicinity, it will inform our understanding of funerary practices and related aspects of prehistoric life at this time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a round cairn of prehistoric date, situated on the top of a prominent knoll where it commands extensive, uninterrupted views in all directions. The cairn is composed largely of stone ranging in size from large boulders up to 1m across to small angular stones about 0.1m across. The cairn is roughly circular in shape and measures a maximum of 25m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 2m. The upper surface of the cairn has been rearranged to form one large and three smaller weapons pits.

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: 32791

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, An Archaeological Survey of the MOD Training Area, Otterburn, (1977), 23
Charlton, B, Fifty centuries of Peace and War, (1996), 29

End of official listing