Bowl barrow in Gatcombe Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008624

Date first listed: 29-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Gatcombe Wood
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud (District Authority)

Parish: Minchinhampton

National Grid Reference: ST 87519 99522


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 bowl barrow in Gatcombe Wood survives well and is known to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument represents one of a dispersed group of similar monuments known in the area.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated just below the crest of a hill in Gatcombe Wood, in an area of the Cotswold Hills. The barrow has a mound composed of small stones. It has a maximum diameter of 12.5m and a maximum height of 1m. There is no sign of a quarry ditch at the site, despite favourable conditions for its survival. Near to the centre of the top of the mound is a depression which is now leaf filled, but which has dimensions of 2m by 1m. This is likely to represent an excavation hollow created when the barrow was partially excavated by G E Playne prior to 1880. The remains of the cremation of a child were recovered and there were traces of charcoal on the contemporary ground surface; these are likely to have related to a funerary pyre. Two stone blocks which are situated on the mound are likely to relate to the burial chamber of the barrow and may have been disturbed during the excavations.

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: 22886

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 124
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, (1960), 124
Excavation conducted before 1880,

End of official listing