Bell barrow in Deerleap Wood
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2019 at 19:48:41.
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:
- Legacy System:
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