A pair of bowl barrows 500m north east of Overhill Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009961

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Feb-1995


Ordnance survey map of A pair of bowl barrows 500m north east of Overhill Lodge
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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: Firle

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 47730 05941

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.

Despite some disturbance by partial excavation, the pair of barrows 500m north east of Overhill Lodge survive well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Their close association with broadly contemporary and later, early medieval funerary monuments situated along the ridge to the west and east, provides evidence for the continuing importance of this area of downland for burial and ceremonial practices over a period of around 3000 years.


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows aligned north-south and situated on a ridge of the Sussex Downs, around 1.25km south of the village of West Firle. The ridge commands extensive views of the Weald to the north and the English Channel to the south. The north westerly barrow has a circular mound 13m in diameter and around 1m high. A central hollow indicates that the barrow has been partially excavated some time in the past. Lying around 12m to the south east, the mound of the second barrow measures 12m in diameter and survives to a height of around 0.9m. This also has an excavation hollow in its centre. Both mounds are surrounded by ditches from which material used to construct the barrows was excavated. These have become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features around 2m wide.

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: 25494

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, (1934), 268
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, (1934), 268

End of official listing