Henge monument 850 m south-south-west of Sinderby

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1471046
Date first listed:
12-Nov-2020
Location Description:
The site is centred on SE 34280 81090; it is located in fields between Sinderby Lane and the B6267 and is overlain by the parish boundary between Sinderby and Ainderby Quernhow. The site is around 850 m south-south-west of Sinderby, around 550m west-north-west of Ainderby Quernhow and around 790 m east of the A1(M) road.

Map

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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
The site is centred on SE 34280 81090; it is located in fields between Sinderby Lane and the B6267 and is overlain by the parish boundary between Sinderby and Ainderby Quernhow. The site is around 850 m south-south-west of Sinderby, around 550m west-north-west of Ainderby Quernhow and around 790 m east of the A1(M) road.
County:
North Yorkshire
District:
Hambleton (District Authority)
Parish:
Ainderby Quernhow
County:
North Yorkshire
District:
Hambleton (District Authority)
Parish:
Sinderby
National Grid Reference:
SE3428081090

Summary

A Neolithic henge situated in the Vale of Mowbray on low lying ground about 30m above ordnance datum. It largely survives as a series of buried archaeological deposits, although subtle earthworks remains are visible on LiDAR images.

Reasons for Designation

This henge monument of Neolithic date, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: as a rare example of a Neolithic henge, of which there are only about 50 known examples in England; * Survival: despite being reduced by ploughing the henge is reasonably well preserved and is clearly delineated using Structure from Motion, LiDAR and APGB height data modelling and on aerial photographs; * Potential: the site will retain significant archaeological deposits which will add to our knowledge and understanding of its construction, and the nature and longevity of its use; * Period: henges are highly representative of the Neolithic as one of relatively few monuments known from the period, and which also possess a high degree of longevity; * Group value: with a number of other henge monuments in the region, which taken together will contribute to our understanding of the evolution of prehistoric ritual ceremonial practice in England.

History

Recent national surveys list about 50 more-or-less certain henges in England. Henges are a type of Neolithic monument generally found in downland landscapes and river valleys, often close to springs and water-courses. They were built from about 3,000BC but most date to the Late Neolithic (2,800-2,000 BC) and were constructed as roughly circular or oval-shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. However, unlike those enclosures with a defensive purpose, the ditch of a henge lies inside the bank (although this is not the case at early sites like Stonehenge I – even though it gives its name to the site type). Most henges have one or (more commonly) two entrances and are up to 110m in diameter. A few, however, are larger; irregular in shape and may have several entrances. Finds and deposits from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. They may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds, although some of these features may be the result of later reuse or adaption. They are interpreted as places where communities who lived rather mobile lives gathered periodically for meetings and ceremonies of various kinds. A number of henges were reused in later periods, sometimes maintaining a ceremonial or ritual use, or adapted to new uses. Henges occur throughout England and most are now identified by aerial survey, having been levelled by ploughing.

Sinderby henge fits well into the general topographic and distribution pattern of known henges in the region. It is located fairly typically on low lying ground, approximately 30m OD and situated 920m west of the Holm and Ainderby Beck and about 2km west of the River Swale. There is a known concentration of henges in the Swale/Ure basin along the A1 corridor. A southern concentration comprises henges at Cana Barn, Hutton Moor, Nunwick and the three sites and cursus at Thornborough, whilst a northern concentration of later Neolithic monuments includes a henge and cairn, cursus and a palisaded enclosure at Catterick and a further henge located at Moulton. The henge at Sinderby fits in to this southern grouping and is located less than 6km east-north-east of the Thornborough henges. It is consistent in terms of scale to Cana Barn, Hutton Moor and Nunwick, which form alignments from the Devils Arrow at Boroughbridge and are considered to mark a prehistoric north-south routeway.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION

The henge was discovered using Environment Agency LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging elevation data collected using a laser and used to create 3D models), Aerial Photography for Great Britain (APGB) height data (a 3D digital height model dataset) and Structure from Motion (a photography processing technique) between 2015 and 2016 following English Heritage’s National Mapping Programme 'Yorkshire Henges and their Environs Air Photo Mapping Project'. Some elements of the feature are also visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs taken since 2009. It is not depicted on C19 Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, although nearby prehistoric tumuli at Ainderby Quernhow and Kirklington are identified from the 1856 OS map onwards. In 2018 the Yorkshire Archaeological Aerial Mapping group provided a Digital Elevation Model using drone survey.

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: a Neolithic henge situated in the Vale of Mowbray on low lying ground about 30m above ordnance datum. It largely survives as a series of buried archaeological deposits, although subtle earthworks remains are visible on LiDAR images.

DESCRIPTION: the henge survives as the remains of a near-circular enclosure measuring about 215m across, with a narrow ditch and an outer bank. The broad bank measures a maximum of 35m at its widest extent. The location of the entrances is unclear, but there is a subtle indication of a north-west entrance; the possible site of an opposing entrance is obscured by a modern field boundary that crosses the southern bank of the henge from east to west.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: this covers the full extent of the henge monument as mapped using Structure from Motion, LiDAR and APGB height data modelling, and it also includes a margin of 2m around it on all sides for its support and preservation.

EXCLUSIONS: the field boundary is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is included.

Sources

Books and journals
Gibson, A, 'Survey and Excavation at the Henges of the Wharfe Valley, North Yorkshire, 2013-15' in The Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 175, (2018), 49
Websites
Deegan, A, 'Yorkshire Henges and their Environs Air Photo Mapping Project' in Historic England Research Report Series, Vol 69, (2013), 28, accessed 18 June 2020 from https://research.historicengland.org.uk/
Historic England 'Prehistoric Henges and Circles: Introductions to Heritage Assets', (2018), accessed 18 June 2020 from https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/iha-prehistoric-henges-circles/
North Yorkshire HER entry for neolithic henge south of Sinderby, accessed 11/06/2020 from https://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MNY38704&resourceID=1009

Legal

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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