Bell barrow in Deerleap Wood


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.

Mole Valley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 11828 48038

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.

The bell barrow in Deerleap Wood survives comparatively well and, despite storm damage having occurred in recent years it remains in a relatively stable condition. Partial excavation has demonstrated that archaeological remains and environmental evidence survive relating to both the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on the rise of a gentle north-facing slope in an area of greensand. The barrow survives as a central mound 25m in diameter and 2m high, surrounded by a flat platform, or berm, up to 6.5m wide. This area is contained by a ditch 4m wide and 0.5m deep from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. Beyond the ditch is an external bank 4.5m wide and 0.4m high. The overall diameter of the monument is 55m. The barrow was partially excavated in 1960 when the construction of the mound was found to include an inner mound of turf erected over an inhumation burial. No skeletal evidence however was preserved due to the acidic soil conditions. The turf was then covered by stone capping over which sand was piled. Two artefacts contemporary with the construction of the monument were found, a whetstone and a flint tool. Additionally over a thousand Mesolithic worked flints were found, showing that the barrow had been constructed on a much earlier flint working site.

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
Corcoran, J X W P, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Excavations Of A Bell Barrow In Deerleap Wood, Wotton, , Vol. 58, (1963), 1-18


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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