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Loose Howe (Rosedale)

Round Barrow


Loose HoweLoose Howe is a round barrow located on the road that runs north from Rosedale Abbey towards Danby. The barrow was excavated in the 1930s and we thus have more details of its construction and contents than is usual.

The barrow was excavated by H and F Elgee in 1937. Their excavation found the main burial near the centre of the barrow as well as a later secondary barrow. The main burial was 3m from the centre of the barrow. A 2.5m by 0.6m coffin was found, covered with a canoe shaped lid. Just to the north-west was a functional 2.75m long canoe suggesting that water was important to the culture involved. All three items were made from oak tree trunks. The foot from a body was found in the coffin, dressed in linen and laid on a bed of some sort. Part of a bronze dagger and three flints were found with the body, showing how the people of the Bronze Age used both stone and metal technology. Because the one body was so badly preserved it is possible that the canoe also originally contained a body, of which all traces had disappeared by 1937.

A second burial was found just below the surface of the barrow, near the centre. This was a cremation burial that included a bronze dagger, a bronze pin and a stone battle axe, suggesting that it came from a later period when burial patterns had changed.

The excavation also uncovered details of the construction of the barrow. The barrow was surrounded by an outer ring of stones. Next came a 0.6m wide shallow ditch. The main barrow was defined by a circle of upright stones. The main structure was built from layers of sand and turf, covered with large stones on the edges, but with a 6.7m diameter circle clear of all stones in the centre of the barrow.


Grid Reference: NZ 702 008