Register of ancient monuments

Reference number 1018255

Bowl Barrow Known As Beacon Hill
Gosling Lane
Sowerby Bridge


The monument includes a bowl barrow known as Beacon Hill. It is situated near Barkisland, north east of Ringstone Edge Moor, 500m south of Upper Gosling Royd. Part of the barrow was removed during the building of a field wall on the east side in 1907. On the north side it is encroached upon by a small quarry, but most of the barrow survives.

The barrow is approximately 28m by 20m in diameter and 1.5m high. There is no evidence of an encircling ditch. The summit of the barrow has a broad central hollow, at one edge of which is a modern stone cairn.

When the foundation trench was dug for the field wall, two urns, burnt bone, charcoal and clay were found, confirming the site as a Bronze Age burial monument. The name Beacon Hill suggests that the barrow was later used as a beacon site.


Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400 - 1500BC. They were constructed as earthern or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Although the edges and centre of Beacon Hill bowl barrow have been disturbed in the past, it still survives reasonably well. It retains important archaeological information, and will preserve burials in the form of cremations. Beacon Hill forms an important part of the prehistoric landscape of the Ringstone Edge area, which includes a small cairnfield and a ring cairn.

Last Updated: 07/10/2004