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Tripsdale / Bilsdale Bride Stones

Cairn circle


Details of site on Pastscape

Bronze Age round barrow, formerly identified as a stone circle.
(SE 57569790) Stone Circle (NR). (1)
Cairn Circle (NR). (2)
The "Bride Stones" (SE 576978): A doubtful example of a burial circle, or degenerate henge-monument, named the "Bride Stones", occurs on Nab Ridge. These circles often enclose cremation pits or urn burials and such burials are also found outside the enclosures, as well. They are frequently situated in or near groups of small stony cairns. (3)
The name "Bride Stones" probably belongs to this stone circle and not be the cairn (SE 59 NE 11) 50 paces to the north. The feature has been extensively robbed of its stones but appears to consist of a circular bank revetted with stones inside and outside. Three stones on the north and ten stones in the SE quadrant of the inner kerb remain standing, with heights up to one metre. Inside the circle old and recent holes have been dug but there are no records of any finds. The circle resembles a ring-work or henge-circle such as those excavated on Great Ayton Moor (Scarborough Arch Soc Report No 7 1967. Enclosures C and D (NZ 51 SE 1) but such kerbs of close-set stones are often found in barrows such as Hobtrusch Rook (SE 69 SE 3). It is more likely to be a mutilated tumulus and Elgee noted (after he had published his Early Man in NE Yorkshire in 1930 where he described it as a stone circle) that it resembled the kerb of a barrow. (4)
Correctly described by Hayes. The circle was clearly originally formed by an unbroken faced 'wall' in conjunction with closely set orthostats such as is commonly found in the great Cumberland type stone circles. While the overall dimension of 12m here precludes any further comparison with the latter, the remains as they stand favour some form of burial ring rather than a cairn kerb. Published survey (25") revised. (5)
Set on a south-facing slope at SE 57569790 are the well-defined remains of a circular stone-walled enclosure measuring 13.0m
diameter over a partly robbed and collapsed rubble wall averaging 2.0m wide.
The inner face of the wall in the E quadrant is formed of several large contigious boulders set upright. Three similar appear in the N. The outer face (less evident but still extant and covered by thick heather) where best preserved in the NE consists of large boulders contigiously laid but horizontally. Elsewhere the facing stones have fallen over. There is no trace of an entrance. (The obvious place for one in the S is too overgrown and mutilated to say if there was one here or not).
The interior is not levelled and follows the natural slope of the hill. This may be due to heavy peat built-up but the inner
facing stones in the N suggest that this site was never levelled. This is not a stone circle and not a modern feature (ie sheepfold, stock pond, etc.). Surveyed at 1:10,000 (on field document). (6)
SE 576979. "Bridge stones(sic) round cairn and stone circle. Scheduled. (7)
SE 5756 9790. Round barrow 900m NNE of Oak House. Scheduled RSM No 25548. (8)

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 25" 1930
( 2) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1958
( 3) General reference Hist of Helmsley (J McDonell) 1963 36-7 389 (Bronze AgeArch - R H Hayes)
( 4) General reference Letter and plan R H Hayes 27.5.73
( 5) Field Investigators Comments F1 RE 06-DEC-73
( 6) Field Investigators Comments F2 ISS 09-APR-75
( 7) General reference DOE(IAM) AMs Eng 1978 49
( 8) General reference English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 17/11/94
Chance Posted by Chance
10th July 2012ce

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