A saucer barrow and a bowl barrow on Bow Hill, 270m south east of the Tansley Stone


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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008376.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 27-Sep-2021 at 00:01:00.


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

West Sussex
Chichester (District Authority)
National Park:
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:
Legacy System:


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].