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Bowl barrow known as Michael Morey's Hump, and a Highway Commission barrier on Gallows Hill

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Bowl barrow known as Michael Morey's Hump, and a Highway Commission barrier on Gallows Hill

List entry Number: 1010008


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Isle of Wight

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Arreton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Sep-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Feb-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22025

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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.

The bowl barrow called Michael Morey's Hump on Gallows Hill survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument. The construction of a Highway Commission barrier abutting the barrow is an interesting example of subsequent use.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow and the end of a Highway Commission barrier abutting the barrow. The monument lies halfway down a west facing spur in an area of chalk downland with views to the south and west. The barrow was originally one of a group of three, but is now the only one to survive on this part of Gallows Hill.

The barrow has a mound which measures 24m east-west and 19m north-south, the truncation due to the construction of a road on its north east side. The mound is 1.5m high when viewed from the south, and 3m high when viewed from the north. Surrounding the mound, on all but the north east side where it has been removed, is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.5m wide. Additional to this there is a 2m margin around the monument on all but the north east side to ensure its protection.

The Highway Commission barrier which abuts the barrow was built in 1815 to serve as a road block. The barrier can no longer be seen at ground level beyond the barrow mound, but can be seen as a small mound, c.0.5m high and c.4m wide, at the base of the barrow on its south west side.

The barrow is called Michael Morey's Hump because of the story that Michael Morey hid in a cave beneath it. About 1730 he was hanged from a gibbet for the murder of his grandson. The barrow was opened in 1815 by Thomas Cooke who found seven extended skeletons, including those of two children. Near each skeleton was an iron knife blade. Two circular brass buckles, a bone comb and spearhead were also found. The stone socket of the gibbet erected for Michael Morey was found at the centre of the barrow. Excavation of the area to the south west of the barrow by the Isle of Wight Archaeological Unit in 1990 showed that the barrow ditch was c.0.5m deep, and showed the Highway barrier as a chalk bank abutting the barrow.

The post and wire fence which edges the road, and the telegraph pole and its supports which lie on the verge of the road, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Phillips, K S, For Rooks and Ravens. The Execution of Michael Morey of Arreton, (1981), 22
Grinsell, , Sherwin, , 'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Procedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc, , Vol. 3, (1940), 188,207
Kell, E, 'Journal of the British Archaeological Association' in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, , Vol. 5, (1850), 365-7
14th July 1979 2303/3/416, (1979)

National Grid Reference: SZ 53563 87435


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010008 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 05:08:52.

End of official listing