A saucer barrow and a bowl barrow on Bow Hill, 270m south east of the Tansley Stone
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008376
Date first listed: 04-Aug-1933
Date of most recent amendment: 26-Sep-1994
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Mar-2019 at 13:14:47.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District: Chichester (District Authority)
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference: SU 82483 10960
Reasons for Designation
Beneficial land use over the years has enabled Bow Hill and Kingley Vale to support one of the most diverse and well-preserved areas of chalk downland archaeological remains in south eastern England. These remains are considered to be of particular significance because they include types of monument, dating from the prehistoric and Roman periods, more often found in Wessex and south western Britain. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between trackways, settlement sites, land boundaries, stock enclosures, flint mines, ceremonial and funerary monuments in the area gives significant insight into successive changes in the pattern of land use over time. Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1800 and 1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). They were constructed as a circular area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and largely occupied by a single low, squat mound covering one or more burials, usually in a pit. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 known examples nationally, most of which are in Wessex. The presence of grave goods within the barrows provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified saucer barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance. Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow and date from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and are particularly representative of their period. A substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite partial excavation, the saucer barrow and bowl barrow on Bow Hill survive comparatively well and contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The pair of barrows form part of a group of three round barrows situated on this part of the hill slope, and lies to the north of a prehistoric flint mine. These monuments are broadly contemporary, and their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between industrial activity and burial practice during the period of their construction and use.
The monument includes a pair of round barrows situated on a gentle south-
facing slope just below the summit of a ridge of the Sussex Downs.
To the north east is a saucer barrow with a low central mound 9.5m in diameter
and 0.5m high surrounded by a shallow ditch from which material used to
construct the barrow was excavated. The ditch has become partly infilled over
the years but survives as a depression 3m wide and 0.2m deep, and is in turn
encircled by a low bank 4m wide and up to 0.2m high. The form of the barrow
resembles an upturned saucer.
Five metres to the south west is a bowl barrow with a central mound 9m in
diameter and 0.3m high, surrounded by an infilled ditch surviving largely as a
buried feature c.3m wide. Both barrows were partially excavated in 1859. Ashes
and charcoal were discovered in the saucer barrow, whilst the bowl barrow was
found to contain an inverted urn, a type of Bronze Age pottery vessel.
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: 24395
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 247
Smith, Rev. H , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 22, (1870), 63-65
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