Bowl barrow on 'The Cop' hill, 270m north of Thickthorne Wood trig pillar

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009353

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Oct-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on 'The Cop' hill, 270m north of Thickthorne Wood trig pillar
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Wycombe (District Authority)

Parish: Bledlow-cum-Saunderton

National Grid Reference: SP 77338 01086

Summary

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.

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.

Despite being disturbed by past investigation, the Cop bowl barrow survives well as a landscape feature. The 1937 excavation clearly demonstrates the archaeological wealth of the monument and although much of the cultural material has been removed, further important archaeological evidence still survives. Finds of material from the Neolithic and Palaeolithic periods may indicate earlier occupation of the site. There is potential for further evidence of such occupation from beneath the mound in addition to environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a substantial bowl barrow situated on the north-western end of a prominent chalk ridge. The barrow mound survives as a well defined mound of chalk rubble construction 14.8m in diameter and up to 1.9m high. There is no surface indication of the surrounding ditch from which the material for the mound would have been quarried. However this will survive as a buried feature and from the size of the mound it can be estimated to have a width of 2m. The barrow was partly excavated by J F Head in 1937; disturbance of the central area and northern quarter of the mound appears to be as a result of this investigation which revealed a complicated series of deposits representing several phases of use. The initial burial was Early Bronze Age in date and included the inhumation of a female in a rectangular pit at the centre of the mound. Secondary burials consisted of two inhumations, both of Saxon date, one a young female in a shallow grave above the primary burial, the other, a male in a shallow grave in the north-east quadrant of the mound. Associated with the latter were an open-socketed spearhead, an iron knife and a pair of bronze tweezers. This burial had disturbed an earlier Saxon cremation burial. In addition to this disturbed cremation, a further five pits contained Saxon cremation burials, two of which were undisturbed with urns containing burnt bone and combs. The whole centre of the mound, including the Bronze Age burial and the female Saxon burial, had been disturbed by a 17th century investigation of the mound, evidenced by finds of pottery and clay pipes of this period. Other finds from the body of the mound and from its immediate vicinity include a Palaeolithic hand-axe, a Neolithic polished axe, fragments of a Late Bronze Age beaker, various flint scrapers, a Late Bronze Age knife, Roman pottery fragments and a coin of Tetricus.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 19046

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Record No. 0627,

End of official listing