Two bowl barrows 460m NNW of Longstone Cottage: part of a round barrow cemetery on Mottistone Down


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SZ 40619 84729

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The bowl barrows on Mottistone Down will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed. The southern barrow is unusual in that it displays evidence for subsequent reuse as a beacon in the medieval period. These barrows are amongst a number which survive in the area of downland above Brighstone.


The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned north west-south east and forming part of a wider cemetery situated on the crest of a prominent chalk ridge. The mounds have diameters of 27m and 22m and are 2.2m and 1.5m high. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. The ditch of the southern barrow has become partially infilled over the years but can be seen as a slight depression 3.5m wide and c.0.25m deep. The ditch of the northern barrow has become completely infilled and can no longer be seen at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.3.5m wide. The flattened top of the southern barrow is encircled by a low bank and is occupied by the foundations of a small war-time building. The foundations of a second building are cut into the base on its south east side. The top is levelled as for a beacon and the barrow has been known by the name Harboro'. A beacon is mentioned at Hauedburghe in 1324, and the beacon is again mentioned in 1638.

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:
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Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, Ancient Burial Mounds of England, (1953), 155
Worsley, R, History of the Isle of Wight, (1781)
Grinsell, , Sherwin, , 'Proceedings of the IOW Natural History and Archaeological Soc' in , , Vol. 3, (1940), 203
Title: Ordnance Survey Field Investigation 1967 3 Source Date: 1967 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 6" Record Map (OGS Crawford undtd)


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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