Old Castle Hill

Only two stones remain. The eastern one is in the foreground and the western one is beside the 1m ranging rod in the background.

A single stone row measuring 27.3m long, including two large recumbent stones situated on a small promontory with restricted views of the sea. Originally there were at least five stones, but three have been removed since the 1930’s. The row is orientated ESE to WNW, stands in an area with several cairns and has a dramatic visual relationship with nearby Freebrough Hill.


England North Yorkshire North York Moors NZ 67359 12016
Lat 54.499007   Long -0.9614331 

Map showing the location of Old Castle Hill stone row.

Plan of the Old Castle Hill stone row. The position of the grey stones is approximate and known only from the Elgee photograph (Source: GPS survey by Sandy Gerrard and photograph taken by Elgee).


Type: Single Length: 27.3m
No. of stones: 5 Size of stones: Medium and large
Orientation: 104° Altitude: 247m
Upper end: – Lower end: –
Straight (Yes or No)  : No Sea View: Yes
Context:  –
Notes: All recumbent. The central stones have been removed.

Other Information

Public Access:  Yes
Land Status: National Park
Scheduled Ancient Monument: No


Category: Plausible. Despite considerable mutilation, the photograph taken by Elgee confirms that a stone row once stood at this location. A prehistoric explanation is the most plausible.


This stone row is of Type S9. Information on this form of stone row and other rows of this type is available here.


Photograph of the row taken in around 1930. View from east © Frank Elgee.

The stones in Elgee’s photograph superimposed onto a modern photograph.

The eastern stone is visible in the foreground and the western stone lies beside the ranging rod. View from east (Scale 1m).

The western stone. View from south (Scale 1m).

The eastern stone. View from the east (Scale 1m).

Landscape Treat

From the top of the row, nearby Freebrough Hill looks like a huge barrow. As you walk eastward along the row it slowly disappears below the near hillslope.

At the lower end of the row, Freebrough Hill is at the limit of visibility. Whilst impossible to prove, this visual relationship is likely to have been of interest to the row builders. The similarity with artificial mounds of this period is obvious and this particular visual relationship provides further circumstantial evidence for particular and definable links between the rows and the landscape in which they were erected.

Access Information

Car parking is available at NZ 67145 11618. The row is a short, but uneven walk from here.

Online Resources 

Megalithic Portal     Modern Antiquarian     PastScape     The Smell of Water

Other References

Burl, A., 1993, From Carnac to Callanish – The prehistoric rows and avenues of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press, New York and London, pg. 217.

Elgee, F., 1930, Early Man in North-East Yorkshire, Gloucester, pg. 106.


VISITED:- 15th September 2017

FIRST PUBLISHED:- 13th Februrary 2016

LAST UPDATED:- 14th January 2020

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