Bowl barrow: part of the round barrow cemetery on Therfield Heath

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009757

Date first listed: 14-Jul-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow: part of the round barrow cemetery on Therfield Heath
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Therfield

National Grid Reference: TL 34189 40275

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The round barrow cemetery on Therfield Heath is the largest known example of its type in Hertfordshire, and is unusual in that it includes an example of a rarer barrow type known as a bell barrow. Despite evidence for partial excavation this bowl barrow retains archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow forming part of the round barrow cemetery situated on Therfield Heath on a spur of the Chiltern Hills. This bowl barrow lies about 50m east of the main group of barrows which form the focus of the cemetery. It includes a hemispherical earth mound 27m in diameter and c.0.4m in height. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The barrow was partially excavated by E B Nunn in 1855 and was found to contain a cremation burial.

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: 20641

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
NAR No TL 63 SE 9, Information from NAR,

End of official listing