Three bowl barrows 540m east of Week Farm: part of a round barrow cemetery on Week Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010004

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows 540m east of Week Farm: part of a round barrow cemetery on Week Down
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 09:13:09.


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

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ventnor

National Grid Reference: SZ 54222 77889


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.

Despite having been partially excavated in the past, the three bowl barrows east of Week Farm are integral to the Week Down cemetery and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost north-south on a hilltop position in downland on the coast of the southern side of the Isle of Wight. To the west the land falls away to a valley which runs north-south. These barrows lie on the highest point of the hill. These are three of an original ten barrows which made up the Week Down cemetery. Only three of these and two others, the subject of separate schedulings, now survive. The barrows, from north to south, have mounds which measure 16.5m, 20.5m and 29m east-west, 17.5m, 16.5m and 17m north-south, and are c.1.5m, 1.5m, and 2.75m high respectively. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. The ditch of the most northerly barrow can be seen as a slight depression 3m wide and 0.2m deep on the east side of the mound. The ditch of the most southerly barrow can be seen as a slight depression on the east and west sides of the mound c.4m wide and 0.4m deep. The ditch of the middle barrow has become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level, but survives as a buried feature c.4m wide. Each of the barrows has a central depression in their top indicative of previous investigation. The concrete blocks with angle iron set into them, which can be seen on the south and east sides of the mound of the most southerly barrow in the area of its ditch, are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath included. On the north side of the same barrow there is a post and wire fence which crosses the barrow mound and beyond that a wooden post and cross-beam fence which is also on the edge of the barrow. These two fences form the south side of a small enclosure used for storing silage. All these fences 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. 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: 22019

Legacy System: RSM


Carr, R. D., Report on Week Down excavations (unpublished), 1968,

End of official listing