A FIRE which swept across a large area of North Yorkshire moorland has revealed a mysterious monument which could date back to Neolithic times.

This aerial picture from English Heritage shows a stone enclosure and a number of stone cairns on a 62-acre site near the village of Goathland.

David MacLeod, senior investigator with English Heritage’s aerial survey team, said: “We were called in by the North York Moors National Park Authority to capture aerial views before the site is recovered by vegetation.

“We saw at least 20 cairns of varying size, taking pictures from various angles, allowing us to set the site in a wider landscape context.” He said the site could have once been a pen for agricultural use or perhaps a graveyard.

“Whatever its origins, it stands as reminder that the history of North Yorkshire is far from done and dusted, but is still being written,” he added.

An archaeological report is expected on the site next year.