Three bowl barrows on Treen Common 430m north east of Higher Bosporthennis


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SW4448236457, SW4452136382, SW4453336333

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. 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. Despite partial early excavation, the three bowl barrows on Treen Common 430m north east of Higher Bosporthennis survive comparatively well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronology, territorial significance, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows, situated in a roughly north to south linear alignment, on the summit of a prominent ridge known as Treen Common. The northern barrow survives as a circular mound, measuring up to 16m in diameter and 1m high, with a central excavation hollow. A single stone on the edge is the remains of a retaining kerb. The barrow was excavated by Borlase in 1872 who found a kerb of edge-set stones around natural boulders, with ashes scattered throughout, although no burial was located.

The central barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 10.5m in diameter and 0.9m high. The retaining kerb is still visible, as well as a small central excavation hollow. This barrow was excavated by Borlase and found to be of similar construction to the first, and although he found no burial, he found a flint flake and a piece of iron.

The southern barrow, also known as 'The Beacon', survives as a low irregular-profile mound, measuring up to 15m in diameter and 0.4m high. This was also excavated by Borlase who found it had already been partially dismantled by 'stone-carriers'. There was a circular retaining kerb with a second inner circle. On the western side was a flat stone beside which stood two crushed urns, upside down, and both filled with burnt bone. One urn contained a flint implement.

Further archaeological remains in the immediate vicinity are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-423774


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 333
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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