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.
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating 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. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. 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 their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Despite evidence of partial excavation, the bowl barrow 290m south east of the
Tansley Stone survives comparatively well and contains archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was constructed. The barrow forms 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 bowl barrow situated on a gentle south facing slope
below the summit of a ridge of the Sussex Downs.
The barrow has a mound 8m in diameter and 0.3m high surrounded by a ditch from
which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. The ditch has
become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The
barrow was partially excavated in 1895 when it was found to contain a small
inverted urn, a type of Bronze Age pottery vessel.
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.