Bowl barrow on Arreton Down
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1010009
Date first listed: 16-Apr-1980
Date of most recent amendment: 02-Feb-1995
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SZ 53936 87227
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
Despite the possibility of it having been partially excavated, the bowl barrow on Arreton Down survives well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the barrow and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The monument includes a bowl barrow on the upper slope of a south facing
hillside in an area of chalk downland with views to the south. This barrow was
originally one of at least four on Gallows Hill and Arreton Down, only two of
which now remain.
The barrow has a mound which measures c.13m in diameter. The mound is 0.5m
high when measured from the south side, but hardly visible from the uphill
north side. Surrounding the mound 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.2m wide.
The barrow, which appears to be incorporated into a lynchet, was reputedly
opened in 1853 by Kell and Wilkins.
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: 22026
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Kell, E, 'Journal of the British Archaeological Association' in Journal of the British Archaeology Association, , Vol. 6, (1851), 453
Kell, E, 'Journal of the British Archaeological Association' in Journal of the British Archaeology Association, , Vol. 19, (1863), 130-1
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Field Inspector report, (1967)
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