Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery
East of Wharram Percy, East Riding of Yorkshire OS Map Ref SE890643
OS Maps - Landranger 101 (Scarborough), Explorer 300 (Howardian Hills & Malton)
Towthorpe Plantation, barrow 1 at SE881639
An ancient east-west trackway across the top of Towthorpe Wold forms the modern boundary between the East Riding and North Yorkshire and is the site of a narrow plantation of young conifers and a linear cemetery of bowl barrows of which five remain visible.
The three I looked at were all large and well preserved the largest near the B1248 road is between 35-40 metres wide and 3 metres high. The next two are around 20 metres wide and a still respectable 2 metres tall.
All three barrows were all excavated by the antiquarian J.R. Mortimer between 1870-1884.
The first one at SE881639 contained the bones of a child above a primary burial of an extended male skeleton. Grave finds consisted of a pot sherd, flint fragments, two saws, a black flint scraper, a hammer stone, a black flint knife and a fine bronze dagger blade. Mortimer noted that the barrow was constructed of alternating layers of local red soil and clay brought from Duggleby.
At the second barrow at SE884641 he found the cremated remain of an adult inside an oak coffin as well as three knives, two parts of knives, many flint flakes and fragments, ten scrapers and two sling stones. Again, clay had been brought in from Duggleby for part of the construction of the mound.
The third barrow at SE885641 contained a male skeleton as well as some other pieces of human bone in an oval grave. The skeleton was accompanied by a bronze dagger, the only other grave goods being the crushed remains of a food vessel. Yet again clay from Duggleby had been partly used for the covering mound.
Date: Bronze Age
Towthorpe Plantation, barrow 2 at SE884641
Towthorpe Plantation, barrow 3 at SE885641
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