Apron Full of Stones

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Historical Environment Record No:
Thornton in Lonsdale
OS Grid Reference:
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Apron Full of Stones, Kingsdale MYD3678 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Apron Full of Stones, Kingsdale MYD3678 (c) YDNPA, 2023

This romantically named site is a large ring cairn of gritstone and sandstone boulders perched on the eastern edge of Kingsdale Beck. It was excavated in 1972 and a cremation burial was found with no grave goods. Two further possible grave pits proved to be empty. The structure of the cairn is simple and of a single period with a boulder kerb. The stones forming the body of the cairn are graded in size with the larger stones towards the base of the structure. The use of gritstone and sandstone is unusual since the site stands on limestone. Construction of the monument seems to represent clearance of glacial stone deposits scattered over a considerable area, perhaps as part of farming activity. A small collection of flints suggested an early Bronze Age date. The low-lying location has led at least one archaeologist to suggest that it is not a cairn at all, but a small henge. The revetment wall below the cairn was built by the National Park Authority to prevent further stream erosion.

Apron Full of Stones, excavation MYD3678 (c) Alan King, 2004

Apron Full of Stones, excavation MYD3678 (c) Alan King, 2004


King, Alan (1978) ‘Apron Full of Stones, a prehistoric cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire’ Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 50 pp25-30

White, Robert (2002) The Yorkshire Dales. A Landscape Through Time. Ilkley: Great Northern Books


From Thornton in Lonsdale, take road signed to 'Dent' beside church. Site can be viewed from right hand of road after 3 1/2 miles. It lies on the east side of the beck 600 metres from the road. No public access.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Ingleton. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Viewable from roadside (at a distance).