Bronze Age/Iron Age Barrow Cemetery
Broxa Forest, North Yorkshire  OS Map Ref SE96509440
OS Maps - Landranger 101 (Scarborough), Explorer OL27 (North York Moors - Eastern Area)

Broxa Forest Iron Age Square Barrow
Iron Age square barrow in Broxa Forest at SE962942
In the northeast corner of Broxa Forest are a series of barrow mounds - some of these are the familiar Bronze Age round barrows, but half a dozen stand out as being a little different, they are in fact Iron Age 'square' barrows dating from somewhere between 500BC and the coming of the Romans. These square barrows are not at all common and many have been ploughed away (see Arras barrow cemetery) although they seem to occur in a greater frequency in the area between the Humber and North Yorkshire than anywhere else in the country.

The mounds of square barrows are in fact rounded domes usually covering a single burial in a pit but it is the distinctive square ditches that surround the mounds that give these monuments their names. Some square barrow also seem to have traces of a small bank outside the ditch and occasionally the burial is accompanied with rich grave goods such as dismantled carts or chariots.

Of the barrows in Broxa Forest, the four at SE967940, SE969936, SE971932 and SE966931 are very difficult to locate due to tree cover and large amounts of undergrowth, but the one at SE962942 (photograph above) is fairly easy to find and is quite well preserved surviving to a height of about a metre and about 10 metres across with a couple of indentations in the top - the results of partial excavations in the past. Another barrow just to the east is about half the size and height and is quite heavily overgrown.

Among these Iron Age barrows are several older round barrows and many are similarly difficult to find amongst the trees, one worth looking at is Swarth Howe at SE970941 which would once have had fine views across the valley of the East and West Syme. It is now surrounded by trees and damaged - there is a small 1 metre high raised mound in the middle of the barrow with the rest of the low mound measuring about 16 metres across.

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