Pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows 150m north of Roustage Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008416

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows 150m north of Roustage Wood
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Leafield

National Grid Reference: SP 29841 13816

Reasons for Designation

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 protection.

The pair of bowl barrows 150m north of Roustage Wood survives comparatively well despite having been reduced by cultivation and being subject to partial excavation. As excavation only produced Iron Age and Roman material, both barrows are thought to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and use, and the landscape in which they were built.


The monument includes a pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows, aligned north west to south east, and situated on a gentle north east facing slope, 150m north of Roustage Wood. The north western barrow survives as a stony mound, reduced by cultivation to 10m in diameter, which stands up to 0.25m high. Originally, the mound covered an area with a diameter of 12m. The original extent of the mound is surrounded by a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during its construction. Although no longer visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, this ditch will survive as a buried feature 2m wide. The south eastern barrow survives as a stony mound 14m in diameter and up to 1m high. The centre of the mound contains a 2m wide depression up to 0.6m deep which represents the site of partial excavation. The surrounding quarry ditch survives as a buried feature 2m wide. The two quarry ditches are confluent giving the monument the appearance of a figure eight on aerial photographs. Records suggest that both barrows were partially excavated in 1858 when Iron Age and Roman coins were found on and around the mounds.

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: 21799

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mudd, A, Round Barrows of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, (1983)
Mudd, A, Round Barrows of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, (1983)
PRN 11,843, C.A.O., Roustage Round Barrows-Pottery, (1985)
PRN 2236, C.A.O., Roustage Round Barrows, (1985)
PRN 2245 (2), C.A.O., Roustage Round Barrows, Langley, (1985)
PRN 2245, C.A.O., Roustage Round Barrows, Langley, (1985)
PRN 2250, C.A.O., COINS, EXCAVATED, (1983)
SP 21 SE 13, R.C.H.M.(E), Round Barrows, (2), (1976)

End of official listing