Two bowl barrows on High Down, 370m west of Tennyson's Beacon


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010511

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows on High Down, 370m west of Tennyson's Beacon
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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)

Parish: Totland

National Grid Reference: SZ 32167 85351


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.

Despite partial excavation in 1817 and the continued disturbance by animal burrowing, both of the High Down barrows have potential for the recovery of archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed.


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


The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned north-south and set on the crest of a prominent chalk ridge which runs east-west across the island. The southern barrow mound is 9.5m across and 0.6m high. Partial excavation of the mound by the Reverend Skinner in 1817 produced a cremation burial in a ceramic urn. Some 5m to the north is a further barrow mound 10.5m in diameter and 0.8m high. Excavation in 1817 produced an urn containing charcoal while more recently bronze spearheads and bone fragments have been recovered in spoil from a rabbit burrow on the north side of the mound. Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, surrounds the mounds and survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.

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


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

Legacy System number: 12334

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'PROC OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT NATURAL HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY SOC' in Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaelogical Society, (1940), 194

End of official listing