A BRONZE Age monument after which two villages were named has been commemorated after a long-running campaign.

The 4,000-year-old Quernhow burial mound, which was obliterated by the upgrading of the A1(M), has been marked with a plaque and stone by the Quernhow Café, near Ainderby Quernhow, by the Highways Agency.

Archaeologists say the site was “of primary importance in prehistoric times” as it stood on the plain between the three great henges of Thornborough to the north and those on Hutton Moor to the south, accompanied by a number of other tumuli nearby.

When it was unearthed in the 1950s, archaeologists found an imposing flat-topped stone cairn with a circular constructed face.

Four small pits were found in the centre of the cairn and a number of small cremations in and around them alongside broken remains of pottery, human bones, charcoal, food vessels and burnt pieces of oak and other vegetation.

Near the centre of the cairn, which was initially damaged by roadworks in the 1950s, was a curious “four-poster” of upright stones placed near to its north, south, east and west points, which suggested “some significant function in burial ritual”.

Former Quernhow Café owner Bryan Lye said he was delighted that the agency, which completed its £318m Dishforth to Leeming motorway upgrade scheme earlier this year, had marked the site.

He said: “It’s wonderful, a nice feature and I’m really pleased with the end result.

“Quernhow will always have a special place in my heart, but more importantly I am delighted the rich local history now has public recognition and can be remembered for generations to come.”

Archaeologist Blaise Vyner, who backed Mr Lye’s campaign, said the mound was important as few Bronze Age sites of its kind had been found in the Vale of York.

He said: “There are a large number on the North York Moors and in the Dales, but not here because the population was presumably a lot thinner.

“We know they were used between approximately 2200 BC and 1850 BC, but it’s difficult to say exactly when, how many people were buried.”

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We share the passion of Bryan and Blaise to ensure local history isn’t forgotten, and we hope the commemorative stone triggers interest and makes café visitors think about who may have stood there before them 4,000 years earlier.”