You can stand at Hanging Grimston and look around you at three and a half thousand years of prehistoric history. There’s the long barrow, the earth works, the round barrows and finally the Roman road. Add to this the probable ancient trackway under the road and you could go back even further.
The long barrow is badly ploughed, standing less than a metre high and doesn’t look like it will last too many more years, many of the round barrows are hard to make out as well although one to the north of the group is still in good condition. What still remains however are the stunning views to the west as the land drops away dramatically down Open Dale and out to the Derwent valley. These views must have been all-important to the people who farmed the area over this vast timespan.
This group of monuments consists of a long barrow, a line of later round barrows, some earthworks and a Roman road. The long barrow is aligned east-west and was excavated in the 1868 by JR Mortimer who recorded a burned wooden mortuary house and traces of a timber crescent façade at the eastern end. Burials included pig jaws without the tusks, bowls and a human leg bone. The remains have since been dated to about 3450BC. Estimates of the original size of the barrow are around 24 metres long by 15 metres wide with 8 metre wide side ditches. Later the barrow became part of a linear earthwork now known as Queen Dyke, thought to date from the middle bronze age.
The round barrows follow the line of what could be an ancient trackway over Hanging Grimston Wold that later became a Roman Road. Many of them are ploughed out but some were excavated and recorded by Mortimer who found beakers, remains of a funeral pyre, oak coffins, collared urns and jet buttons. The most interesting barrow at SE806613 was found to contain a limestone ring of six stones with the remains of 11 burials inside.