Bowl barrow 810m southeast of Bristol Plain Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1010499
Date first listed: 19-Dec-1929
Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1992
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: ST 51003 51646
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
The bowl barrow 810m southeast of Bristol Plain Farm survives comparatively well despite a small area of localised disturbance caused by B M Skinner's partial excavation in 1816. Although it is possible that the primary burial has been disturbed, much of the barrow mound and quarry ditches remain intact. It therefore has potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its location in an area which exhibits a concentration of contemporary burial monuments, thus giving an indication of the nature and scale of human occupation during the Bronze Age period.
The monument includes a bowl barrow set on level ground 810m southeast of
Bristol Plain Farm. It comprises a mound 20m in diameter and c.2.5m high at
its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds
the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a
buried feature c.2m wide. The monument is the easternmost of two central
barrows in a group of four aligned on a northwest-southeast axis.
The site was partially excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. Finds included a
deposit of burnt bone, believed to be contemporary with the earliest phase of
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: 13820
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, , Vol. Vol 115, (1971), 111
Tratman, E K, 'Proceedings of the Univ of Bristol Speleological Society' in Fieldwork, , Vol. Vol 2(3), (1925), 284-5
ms 28794 folio 85-6; 3648 folio 158, Skinner, B M, MS 28794 folio 85-6; 3648 folio 158, (1816)
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