Robin Hood's Butts (Gerrick Moor) (2)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography

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Coordinate 54.494025, -0.914668
Adm. div. North Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity Gerrick Moor, c. 1.8 km W of Ravenscar
Type Prehistoric site
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Extant?
First Record 1856
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Robin Hood's Butts. The topic of the present page is the second from the west.
The site seen from the air / Google Earth Street View.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-07-10. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-06.

Three or four ancient barrows on Gerrick Moor and Danby Low Moor in the North Yorkshire Moors district are (or were) known collectively as Robin Hood's Butts. According to English Heritage, the second of these sites, counting from the west on the Google map, consists of the remains of two round barrows from the Bronze Age, the larger of which has a diameter of c. 25 m. Apparently mutilated by a prospection pit dug into its centre, this has been incorrectly interpreted as the remains of an enclosure. North-west of this is a smaller barrow with a maximum diameter of c. 10 m.[1]

Dobson & Taylor, following VCH,[2] list the butts as "[t]hree tumuli on Danby Low Moor and others further north on Gerrick Moor towards Skelton".[3] English Heritage lists one of the tumuli as being in Danby, and while it may well be located just within that parish, it is located a few tens of meters east of the three Butts on Gerrick Moor, not south towards Danby.[4] I have found no concrete and specific reference to other Robin Hood's Butts in the area near Danby than those on, or in the immediate vicinity of, Gerrick Moor. Probably these same butts have been variously described as being on Gerrick Moor and neighbouring Danby Low Moor. On Elm Ledge, just north of the village of Danby, are found the remains of a Neolithic and a Bronze Age barrow.[5] These may also have been known as Robin Hood's Butts, but so far I have found no indication of this.

The number of mounds included under the name "Robin Hood's Butts" in this vicinity may have decreased over time as mounds that were once clearly visible, perhaps even prominent, landscape features were razed to the ground by so-called antiquarians digging for "curious" artifacts or remains or by people in search of stones and gravel for use as building materials or in road construction. Canon Atkinson, an amateur archaeologist who discussed these mounds in two magazine articles (see section "Background" below), was a noted spoiler of ancient burial mounds.[6] So far I have found no earlier source for this place-name than the 6" O.S. map of the area published in 1856 (see Maps section below).

See the page on places named Robin Hood's Butts for a general discussion and list of such names.




Brief mention


Also see