Bell barrow on Horsell Common immediately east of Monument Road


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Woking (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 01618 59774

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite some evidence of partial excavation the majority of the bell barrow east of Monument Road on Horsell Common survives well and is one of the finest examples of a bell barrow in Surrey. It contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed which along with evidence from associated burial monuments gives an indication as to the nature and scale of Bronze Age settlement in the area.


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on low lying ground in the Bagshot sands. It has a central mound 20m in diameter and 1.1m high, with a central hollow suggesting that the barrow was once partially excavated. Around the mound is a flat platform, or berm, up to 4.5m wide, which is contained by a circular ditch 3m wide and 0.3m deep. Beyond this is an outer bank which survives to the north and east of the mound between 3.5m and 4m wide and 0.3m high. The fence, the fenced and bricked area and the tarmac carpark surface to the south of the mound and the gravel carpark surface, fence and gates to the west are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included. The bell barrow is one of a group of three closely-spaced barrows surviving in this area, a further bell barrow and a disc barrow being situated c.100m to the west.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Some Surrey Bell-Barrows, , Vol. 40, (1932), 62
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, , Vol. 79, (1987), 38


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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