As I was short of time I only had the chance to look at three of these barrows but what corkers they are. An ancient east-west trackway across the top of Towthorpe Wold forms the modern boundary between Humberside and North Yorkshire and is the site of a narrow plantation of young conifers and 5 bowl barrows. The 3 I looked at were all large and well preserved – the largest near the B1248 is between 35-40 metres wide and 3 metres high. The next 2 are around 20 metres wide and a still respectable 2 metres tall. This is another site that I will have to return to and spend more time investigating – parking is easy on the verge just before the county boundary sign.
These three barrows were all excavated by JR 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, 2 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 3 knives, 2 parts of knives, many flint flakes and fragments, 10 scrapers and 2 sling stones. Again, clay had been brought in from Dugglby 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.
Info from English Heritage.
Note – In Dyer’s ‘Discovering Prehistoric Britain’ the map reference of 879638 does not refer to the barrow in his text – the correct reference is 881639.