Bowl barrow in Portal Avenue


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008729

Date first listed: 23-Aug-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Feb-1993


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

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Martlesham

National Grid Reference: TM 24233 46166


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.

Although the barrow in Portal Avenue has suffered some damage from the digging of a slit trench, the monument survives well. Evidence concerning the manner in which the mound was constructed and used, the duration of its use, and the local environment at the time of and prior to its construction, will be contained in the mound and in the soils preserved beneath it. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that it is one of several which remain of a large group of round barrows recorded as having existed in the Martlesham area. Two more lie c 400m to the south-west.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is visible as an earthen mound standing to a height of 2.6m and covering an area 30m in diameter. On the western side of the mound, extending towards the centre, a linear hollow c 1.2m wide marks the site of an old slit trench. North of the centre is an irregular hollow measuring c 4m in diameter and 0.8m deep in the mound surface, and there are three smaller hollows c 2m in diameter and 0.3m deep on the western side. Although there is no evidence visible on the ground surface of a ditch encircling the mound, it is likely that one will survive as a buried feature.

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: 21259

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing