Two Howes: two round barrows on Goathland Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021296

Date first listed: 18-Jun-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Two Howes: two round barrows on Goathland Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Goathland


National Grid Reference: SE 82528 99444, SE 82634 99410


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

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 disturbance from excavation in the past and modern erosion, the Two Howes have significant surviving archaeological deposits. These will preserve information about the date and original form of the barrows and the burials placed within them. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the mounds.

Clusters of burial monuments, such as this pair of barrows, provide important insight into the development of ritual and funerary practice during the Bronze Age. The barrows lie close to a number of other prehistoric monuments and these associations contribute to our understanding of prehistoric landscape exploitation.


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


The monument includes two round barrows which occupy a prominent ridge-top position on Two Howes Rigg. It lies on Middle Jurassic sandstone on the North York Moors. The two barrows are in two separate areas of protection.

Each barrow has a well-defined sub-circular mound constructed from earth and stone. Both have hollows in the centre left by partial excavation in the past.

The north western mound measures 20m in diameter and stands up to 1.3m high, although it has been augmented on the north western edge by spoil from the partial excavation and it is up to 1.7m high here. The mound was originally constructed with an internal kerb. This would have been a circle of large stones or boulders, about 15m-16m in diameter, included within the matrix of the mound, and some of these stones are visible where the mound surface has become eroded.

The second barrow lies 110m to the south east. Its mound measures 16m in diameter and stands up to 1.2m high. Both barrows are eroded by modern footpaths and have modern walkers' cairns built upon them: the cairn on the north western barrow is to the north west of the centre and that on the south eastern barrow is to the south east of the centre.

The barrows are surrounded by many other prehistoric monuments, particularly further burials, which are often located in prominent and highly visible locations in the landscape.

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: 35918

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hind, D, Goathland Moor Monument Survey, (1996), 6
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993)

End of official listing