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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 910180

Hob Uid: 910180
Location :
County Durham
Bowes
Grid Ref : NY9008012470
Summary : A rough circle of boulders within the north-east part of Rey Cross Roman Camp, occupying a commanding position at the head of the Stainmore Pass. This has been interpreted as a stone circle of Bronze Age date but is probably a non-antiquity - a fortuitous scatter of stones. The stone circle is 20 metres in diameter and is bounded by up to 28 stones and boulders, the tallest of which stands to only 0.5 metres high. Several of the stones are earth-fast boulders. Within the stone circle there is a roughly circular, slightly raised area offset from the centre in the south eastern quadrant; this mound is 0.4 metres high and up to 9 metres across.
More information : NY 9008 1247. Within the Roman camp at Rey Cross, Bowes Moor, a rough circle of boulders lies approximately 40 m S of the E entrance on the N side of the camp. The ground falls gently to the E and commands extensive views on all sides except the W. There is no peat growth at the location of the circle but peat hags lie to the W, N and E at a distance of only 50-70 m. The ground within and surrounding the circle is uneven and contains hummocks, partly as a result of extensive rabbit burrowing. The vegetation cover is coarse grass. A slightly raised area of ground in the W half extends for several metres outside the circle. There is no sign of an internal cairn structure.

The group of stones, about 40 in number, does not form a perfect circle, being flattened on its NW and NE sides. There are substantial gaps in the circle to the W, S and NE.

The boulders vary in size from about 0.5 by 1.0 to 1.0 by 1.8 m. The highest stands 0.75 m above ground level but most are no more than 0.3 m high and several are flush with the ground and partly turf-covered. None of the stones can be said to be in situ as they are all lying in apparently natural positions. Most of the stones in the "circle" are of amorphous shape and only 8 or 10 appear to be capable of being stood upright. The interior of the circle is stone-free with the exception of two stones in the SW part which are well buried in the turf.

Several other groups of boulders are apparent within the area of the camp and over the surrounding moorland but only this group could conceivably be interpreted as having been deliberately arranged.

Whether this group of stones represents a prehistoric ritual site, or whether its near-circular form is the result of human agency at all, remains in doubt. It should be noted that the circle partly overlies the presumed courses of two of the camp's internal roads, though not perhaps in such a way as to constrict them seriously.

Surveyed at 1:200. Full information is included in the NMR Archive.)(1)

This monument was examined as part of RCHME's Roman Camps in England Project. The following account is taken from the published text.

In the NE corner of the camp is an irregular group of recumbent stones which, it has been suggested, may have been a stone circle (2a). It is possible that this is what MacLauchlan (2b) thought was a 'tumulus'; he gave no description of it but if the identification was correct then the material within the kerb has been robbed. Its significance here is that any comparatively early structure in this position could have interrupted the line of the internal road, running from gate to gate, in between the tents of the Roman camp. Full information is included in the NMR Archive.(2)

Scheduled as a stone circle despite above analysis. (3)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Keith Blood and Mark Bowden/03-NOV-1987/RCHME: Circle of Stones, Rey Cross Survey
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Humphrey Welfare and Vivien Swan/1994/RCHME: Roman Camps in England Project
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Source Number : 2A
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Vyner BE (ed) The Stainmore Pass. An Archaeological and Palaeo-enviromental Survey of Bowes Moor
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Source Number : 2B
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : MacLauchlan H. On the Roman roads, camps and other earthworks between the Tees and the Swale
Page(s) : 350
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Vol(s) : 6, 1849
Source Number : 3
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 19-Mar-99
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Source : Circle of Stones, Rey Cross/ink survey
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Source : Circle of Stones
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Source : Rey Cross/pencil survey
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Source : Rey Cross, eastern area (1976-7) and circle of stones (1987)/pencil survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Stone Circle
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28595
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 178
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 113
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF0858846
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF0907412
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 91 SW 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 17590
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: REY CROSS ROMAN CAMP
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: CIRCLE OF STONES, REY CROSS SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1987-10-22
End Date : 1987-11-03