Bowl barrow 540m NNW of Longstone Cottage: part of a round barrow cemetery on Mottistone Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007798

Date first listed: 20-Nov-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 540m NNW of Longstone Cottage: part of a round barrow cemetery on Mottistone Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Brighstone

National Grid Reference: SZ 40526 84766

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.

Despite partial excavations in the 19th century, the bowl barrow on Mottistone Down will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is amongst a number which survive in the area of downland above Brighstone.


The monument includes a bowl barrow forming part of a wider cemetery and situated on the crest of a prominent ridge.

The mound has a diameter of 21m and is 2m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.3.5m wide.

In the 19th century workmen digging for gravel at the side of the barrow found human skeletons laid side by side, almost in a circle.

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: 21977

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Journal of the British Archaeological Association' in British Archaeological Association, , Vol. 12, (1856), 85

End of official listing