Keys to the Past

Bellshiel Law long cairn (Rochester and Byrness)

Bellshiel Law long cairn. Photo by Northumberland County Council.
Bellshiel Law long cairn. Photo by Northumberland County Council.

This prehistoric long cairn lies just below the summit of Bellshiel Law. The long axis of the cairn lies east-west and measures 109m long. The widest part of the cairn is 15m across at the east end and it stands up to 1.6m high. Only a small part of the cairn is covered with turf, for the most part it is bare stone. Excavations in 1935 showed that the cairn had a kerb of boulders around it and also discovered a rock-cut pit, thought to be a grave. No trace of internal divisions was found. A later stone enclosure has been built on the south side of the long cairn reusing stones from the cairn. Bellshiel long cairn is one of the earliest field monuments in Northumberland and dates to the Neolithic. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N331
Historical period: Later Prehistoric (4000BC to 43AD)
Neolithic (4000BC to 2200BC)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY, Archaeology on the Otterburn Training Area, 2002-2005 2005; Archaeological Services Durham University

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Rochester and Byrness

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.