Bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive, Martlesham Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008732

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 12-May-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive, Martlesham Heath
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Nov-2018 at 07:47:46.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Foxhall

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Martlesham

National Grid Reference: TM 24650 44505


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 part of the mound of the bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive has been reduced by ploughing, the monument as a whole survives well and will retain important archaeological information. Evidence concerning the construction of the barrow, the manner and duration of its use, and the local environment at that time, will be contained in the mound, in the soils preserved beneath the mound, and in the fill of the buried ditch. The monument is one of four barrows recorded within a distance of 300m, and these are among a larger group on and around Martlesham Heath which, together, 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 a bowl barrow situated on the southern edge of a modern housing development on what was formerly heathland. The barrow is visible as an earthen mound which is encircled by a buried ditch. The mound covers a circular area with a diameter of 24m and was recorded in 1982 as standing to a maximum height of 1.08m. Over the top and the north side of the barrow, this has been increased to between 1.2m and 1.25m by the addition of a layer of topsoil approximately 0.15m thick. The barrow is crossed east-west by a field boundary and the southern part of the mound has been spread by ploughing and reduced to a maximum height of approximately 0.4m. The surrounding ditch, from which earth was dug and used during construction of the mound, was at one time marked by a slight depression in the ground surface. It has now become completely filled, but survives as a buried feature approximately 3m wide. The post and rail fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 21270

Legacy System: RSM


Contour plan in SMR file, Martin E, Contour plan in SMR file (1982), (1982)
Record of work observed by SAU, Martin E, BGL 007, (1983)
Robertson-Mackay, R, AM7, (1959)

End of official listing