Bowl barrow with war memorial on Burrow Hill.
Reasons for Designation
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite of the installation of the war memorial and the establishment of a garden, and perhaps even partly as a result of it, the Bowl barrow with war memorial on Burrow Hill survives comparatively well and is a rare survival in such an urban location. The location for the barrow is striking and indicates its original territorial significance. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and its overall landscape context. There is a coincidental parallel here in its re-use as the base for a war memorial to recognise the dead from conflicts long after its original construction as a funerary commemorative feature, well known and respected in the landscape.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 October 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a bowl barrow with a war memorial on its top situated on the summit of a prominent hill, called Burrow Hill with far reaching views across the city of Plymouth. The bowl barrow survives as a circular mound which measures up to 20m in diameter and 2m high. The surrounding quarry ditch from which material to construct the mound was derived is preserved as a largely buried feature up to 3m wide but is visible on the eastern side of the mound. The barrow has been monumentalised by the addition of an obelisk type war memorial on the summit of the mound and the establishment of a garden which includes flowers, shrubs, seating and paths. It is surrounded by a wall which divides it from the road and fencing on the remaining sides.