A platform barrow and two bowl barrows forming a linear barrow group SSE of Offham Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009946

Date first listed: 06-Mar-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of A platform barrow and two bowl barrows forming a linear barrow group SSE of Offham Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Lewes

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 40198 10981


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

Reasons for Designation

Platform barrows, funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC), are the rarest of the recognised types of round barrow, with fewer than 50 examples recorded nationally. They occur widely across southern England with a marked concentration in East and West Sussex and can occur either in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of barrows) or singly. They were constructed as low, flat-topped mounds of earth surrounded by a shallow ditch, occasionally crossed by an entrance causeway. None of the known examples stands higher than 1m above ground level, and most are considerably lower than this. Due to their comparative visual insignificance when compared to the larger types of round barrow, few were explored by 19th century antiquarians. As a result, few platform barrows are disturbed by excavation and, consequently, they remain a poorly understood class of monument. Their importance lies in their potential for illustrating the diversity of beliefs and burial practices in the Bronze Age and, due to their extreme rarity and considerable fragility, all identified platform barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

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 contemporary 'flat' burials and for burials in later periods. 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 about the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite some minor scrub encroachment and past disturbance caused by the construction of the adjacent tracks and excavation, the linear round barrow group west of Nevill Road survives comparatively well. The platform barrow survives in particularly good condition and is the best example of this type of barrow in East Sussex. The monument will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the precise function of the barrows and the landscape in which they were constructed. Its association with a Neolithic causewayed enclosure and a further group of broadly contemporary round barrows c.700m to the north east, provides evidence for the importance of this area of downland for ceremonial and funerary practices during the Late Neolithic period and the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes three round barrows which form a north west-south east aligned, linear barrow group situated on a spur of the Sussex Downs. To the north west is a platform barrow which has a slightly raised, circular, central area 20m in diameter. This platform is enclosed by a ditch 6m wide and 0.8m deep, from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has been partially damaged by the construction of a modern track on its north eastern edge. A low bank which encircles the ditch survives as an earthwork 1m wide and 0.4m high on the south eastern side of the barrow. Around 30m to the south east is a bowl barrow which has a circular mound 19.5m in diameter and 0.75m high, which has been partially disturbed on its north eastern side by the adjacent track. A large trench dug into the centre of the mound indicates partial excavation some time in the past. Surrounding the mound is a ditch which has become infilled over the years, but which survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. A further bowl barrow is situated c.30m to the south east. This has a mound measuring up to 13.2m in diameter, also with a slight central hollow indicating partial excavation. Adjacent tracks have partially disturbed the barrow to the south west and north east. The mound, however, survives to a height of 0.75m, and is surrounded by an infilled ditch c.2m wide. The metalled surfaces of the modern tracks which cross the monument on its south western and north eastern sides are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 25479

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 261

End of official listing