Bowl barrow forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery on Rookery Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 26-May-2019 at 05:10:51.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- East Sussex
- Lewes (District Authority)
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 46631 01072
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.
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. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally, and many more have already been destroyed. Although it shows signs of partial damage caused by modern ploughing, past excavation and scrub growth, the bowl barrow on Rookery Hill survives comparatively well, and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The prehistoric round barrow cemetery of which the monument forms a part survives particularly well, and is one the best examples of this type of monument to be found on the East Sussex Downs. These prehistoric barrows are the earliest known structures on Rookery Hill, and their close association with later monuments, including a hlaew, or early medieval burial mound, and nearby traces of subsequent occupation dating to the Iron Age, the Roman and early medieval period, provide evidence for the continuity of burial, settlement and agriculture in this area of Downland over a period of at least 3,000 years.
The monument includes a bowl barrow, one of a group of six bowl barrows which
form a north west-south east aligned, linear round barrow cemetery situated
along a spur of the Sussex Downs, around 1.2km to the north of the English
Channel. The barrow has a roughly circular mound up to 15m in diameter, which
survives to a height of up to 1m. The mound has been partially disturbed and
flattened on its south western side by modern ploughing, and a slight hollow
towards its centre indicates that it has been partially excavated some time in
the past. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material used to
construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years,
but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The modern fence which crosses the monument on its south western side is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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:
- Legacy System:
ref. 2, Grinsell, LV, TQ 40 SE 39, (1930)
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