Bell barrow in Shoulder of Mutton Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007459

Date first listed: 09-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow in Shoulder of Mutton Wood
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Mar-2019 at 14:10:51.


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

District: Medway (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: TQ 72710 65251

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite evidence of partial excavation, the bell barrow in Shoulder of Mutton Wood survives comparatively well and contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on the crest of a chalk ridge adjacent to the North Downs Way. The barrow has a slightly oval mound 2.2m high, 25m east to west and 23m north to south, with a large central hollow suggesting that it was once partially excavated. Surrounding the mound is a gently sloping platform or berm between 1m and 3m wide. This is most clearly visible to the north where the ground drops away beyond the edge of the berm and to the south where the surrounding quarry ditch survives up to 4m wide and 0.2m deep. The rest of the ditch has become infilled over the years and now survives as a buried feature.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 23020

Legacy System: RSM


Ordnance Survey, TQ 76 NW 25,

End of official listing