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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 263

Hob Uid: 263
Location :
Northumberland
Rochester
Grid Ref : NT8131001170
Summary : A Neolithic long cairn surviving as a structure, excavated in 1935 when a possible cist and a rock cut grave were found and cup marked stones were seen nearby.
More information : (NT 8130114). Bellshiel Law. Site of long cairn. (1)

Remains (OE) (Annotation against symbol representing a line of
stones. Siting is similar to that in authority 1.) (2)
A long cairn situated about 100 yards SE of the top of Bellshiel
Hill. It is 369 ft long, 52 ft wide at the east end and has a
maximum height of 6 ft. It may have been of the horned type. (3)

Situated close to the SW corner of a plantation on ground shelving
slightly to the south. (4)

(Listed under Long Cairns or mounds) Quartzite pebble and
two burnt flints in Blackgate Museum, Newcastle. (5)

An iron spearhead said to have been found at the Bellshield Camp has
since been traced back to the long cairn at Bellshiel. It was found
in 1912 when removing stones from the east end of the cairn for
roadmaking. The spearhead 7-8 inches long was found approximately on
the long axis of the cairn, and on the natural soil beneath the
stones. It cannot be said to be a sealed deposit as the stones in
the centre of the cairn are large and not covered with soil or
vegetation, and it would be possible for quite a large object to
work its way down to ground level.

This spearhead, broken in two, is in very bad condition with all the
socket missing. There is no evidence of a Roman origin. (6)

Roman iron spearhead in two fragments, length 7" from Bellshield Camp
Redesdale.
Included in the Thomas Stephen's collection presented to the
Soc. of Ants. Newcastle in 1925. (7)

A grooved and water-rounded quartz-like stone chipped by human agency
and showing signs of great heat, found in 1935 at the long cairn,
Bellshiel and donated to the Soc. of Ants. Newcastle in November 1935
by Miss Nancy Newbigin. (8)

The cairn is a little north of a rectangular sheep fold. It is
orientated 75 west of north. Some 60 feet from the east end, the top
of a large stone is visible, set upright in the cairn with its axis
parallel to that of the cairn. It measures 1'10" by 6" thick and can
be traced downwards for over 4 feet. (9)

Recommended for scheduling as an Ancient Monument. (10)

Excavated September 1935 by the Author. The purpose of the
excavation was to ascertain the affinities between this long cairn
and the long cairns of SW Scotland (a) and, if possible, to pick up a
link between the Neolithic A Pottery of E. Northumberland (b) and
that of the horned cairns of N. Ireland. No pottery was found, and
the information yielded by the excavation is mainly structural.

The cairn measures 367 feet long, 60 feet wide at the east end,
tapering to 29 feet at the west end, with a max height of just over 4
feet.

The sides of the cairn are roughly parallel and regular. Excavations
traced the east kerb under the turf and proved the feature not to
have been 'horned' (as caused by stone removal in 1912 (see Authy 6).
There was no evidence found of there having been more than one stage
of construction. A large stone is visible on the northern slopes of
the cairn 70 feet from the east end, which may be a cist cover not in
situ. The excavation was confined to two main areas, at the east
end, and a parallel cutting 20 feet west of this area to look for
ditches, which were not found.

At the east end a rock cut grave was discovered, measuring 6' long x
3'6" wide x 2' deep. Finds within the cairn consisted of a fragment
of pot-boiler, a worked flake in the grave, and a 'tracked stone' of
possible E I A.

The cairn on the whole, was found to contain no structural remains of
an early period (ie cists, chambers, revetments internal structures,
forecourt, horns or secondary burials) and cannot be dated any
earlier than EBA and possibly later. (11)

Case 25. Bellshiels Long Cairn. "A tracked stone and two pieces of
burnt flint from the excavation of 1935. North of England Excavation
Committee."

Case 31. Bellshiels Camp. Stephen's Collection (Iron spearhead in two
fragments). (12)

Two cup marks in the neighbourhood of Bellshiels cairn. (Map
shows them lying west of the cairn). (13)

This elongated stone mound occupies the crest of a narrow ridge in
open moorland at about 1010 feet above sea level. Orientated at an
angle of 279 it is partially earth covered on the north side. It has
a maximum height of 1.6m, length of 102.2m and variation in breadth
between 10.8m in the east and 8.2m in the west. The 'large stone'
mentioned by authorities 9 and 11 protrudes from a square cavity in
the fact of the cairn at exactly 20.2m from its E end. With its axis
parallel with the cairn, it leans at an approximate angle of 75
towards the S.Its length is 1.2m, of which 0.7m appears above the
surface. It is 0.15m thick, and varies in width between 0.5m at the
apex and 0.7m at the base. Adjacent to the cairn, on its south side
are the remains of an enclosure - probably a sheep pound wit its
walls formed of stones taken from the cairn. Situated at
NY 81170120 are the two cup marks referred to by
authority 13; they are on two adjacent rocks and are well cut. Apart
from the cups, no other ornamentation or indentation is visible. (14)

Cairn surveyed at 6" scale. The alleged cup-marks are no more than
water worn depressions. (15)

Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD. (16)

NT 814 010 and NT 813 012. Long cairn and group of round cairns
100yds (90m) SE of Bellshiel Law. Scheduled no. ND/224. (17)

Bellshiel Law. Surveyed for corpus article. The cairn lies within
the MOD's Redesdale Ranges and has been protected from some Army
activities by a surrounding post and wire fence. (18)

NT 8131 0117. Bellshiel Law long cairn. Scheduled RSM No 20919.
The cairn measures 109m long and varies in width from 8.8m at the
W endto 15m at the broader E end. It has a maximum height of 1.6m.
The N side is partially turf-covered but the remainder of its
length consists entirely of bare stone. A stone walled enclosure
attached to the S side of the cairn is a later feature re-using
stones from the cairn. (19)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Record 6" map (Anon undated)
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Survey of the Watling Street, 1852, Sheet 6 (1:31,680) (H Maclauchlan)
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeologia Aeliena, 4th Series, vo 13, 1936, p 293-308, plans, figs, photograph (Nancy Newbigin)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 11a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Prehistory of Scotland, (G Child)
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Source Number : 11b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeologia Aeliana, 43th Series, vol 12, 1935, p 148-157 (N Newbigin)
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Blackgate Museum, Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, (Labels with Exhibits)
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Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Northumberland County History, vol 15, 1940, p 62 Map (1:25000) p 56 (Ed by M Hope Dodds)
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Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Field Investigator, DAD, 20-AUG-1956
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Source Number : 15
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Field Investigator, DS, 15-MAY-1970
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Source Number : 16
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Field Investigator, ISS, 18-APR-1978
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Source Number : 17
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage, SAM List, Northumberland, March 1994, p 35
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 18
Source : The Neolithic long cairns of Cumbria and Northumberland
Source details :
Page(s) : 54-57
Figs. : 4.2
Plates :
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : History of Berwickshire Naturalists Club, vol 28, part I, 1932, p 80 (J Hewat Craw)
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Source Number : 19
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 15/3/94
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : History of Berwickshire Naturalists Club, vol 9, 1879-1781, p 473 (J Hardy)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Northumberland County History, vol 15, 1940, p 58, 48 (Edited by M Hope Dodds)
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 4th Series, vol 8, 1935-1936, p 112-113 (Miss Nancy Newbigin)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 4th Series, vol 2, 1925-1926, p 124 (Donations to Museum)
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 4th Series, vol 7, 1935-1936, p 122 (List of Donations)
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 4th Series, 1931-1932, p 358 (J H Craw)
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 4th Series, vol 6, 1933-1934, p 39-40 (Parker Brewis and H L Honeyman)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Long Cairn, Grave, Pit
Evidence : Structure, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Long Cairn, Grave, Pit
Object Type : LITHIC IMPLEMENT
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 224
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20919
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NT 80 SW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BELLSHIEL LAW
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1935-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NT 80 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1956-08-20
End Date : 1956-08-20
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NT 80 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1970-05-15
End Date : 1970-05-15
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NT 80 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1978-04-18
End Date : 1978-04-18
Associated Activities : Primary, BELLSHIEL LAW LONG CAIRN
Activity type : FIELD SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31