Two bowl barrows in Spratt's Plantation.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008731

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 12-May-1994


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows in Spratt's Plantation.
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 15:55:57.


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 25541 45350


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 greater part of the western of the two bowl barrows in Spratt's Plantation survives well. Investigation of the wartime trench dug into the mound has demonstrated that the scale of this disturbance is small in relation to the monument as a whole and has not affected the base of the mound or the surface beneath it. Approximately half of the eastern mound also survives, with the whole of the encircling ditch. Evidence of the construction of the barrows and of the manner and duration of their use, as well as of the local environment at that time, will be contained in the mounds, in the soils preserved beneath them, and in the fill of the surrounding ditches. The two barrows originally formed part of a cluster of four and are within a much larger group of barrows, others of which survive as visible monuments on and around Martlesham Heath; together these will provide evidence of the nature and extent of Bronze Age activities in the area.


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


The monument includes two bowl barrows situated in the south eastern corner of a plantation on the east side of Martlesham Heath. The barrows are approximately 33m apart in an east-west alignment and each is visible as an earthen mound encircled by a ditch. The mound of the eastern barrow stands to a maximum height of 1.84m and covers a circular area approximately 25m in diameter. On its surface is a slight, linear hollow, marking the site of a trench dug from the western side towards the centre during World War II. A limited excavation, carried out in 1974, established that this trench was not deep enough to have penetrated the base of the mound or the surface which underlies it. The mound itself was not investigated but three sherds of pottery were found, including one of prehistoric type. The surrounding ditch, from which earth was dug and used during construction of the mound, has become largely filled but it is still visible on the western side of the mound as a slight depression in the ground surface, approximately 3m wide and 0.1m deep. The mound of the western barrow stands to a maximum height of 1.4m and covers a circular area approximately 19m in diameter. Parts of the southern and western sides have been dug away, leaving an irregular profile in all except the north eastern quadrant. The surrounding ditch is visible on the eastern side of the mound as a slight hollow in the ground surface, approximately 3m wide and 0.15m deep. Excavation of the sites of two adjacent barrows, which no longer survive as visible monuments, discovered extensive evidence of Early Bronze Age occupation on the soil surfaces which had been preserved beneath their 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: 21268

Legacy System: RSM


1974, Martin, A, The Excavation of Barrows II, III and IV, Martlesham Heath, 1974, (1974)

End of official listing