Bell barrow on West Rudham Common, 950m SSE of the Grange

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010560

Date first listed: 09-Nov-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Jan-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow on West Rudham Common, 950m SSE of the Grange
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: West Rudham

National Grid Reference: TF 81637 24943

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

The bell barrow on West Rudham Common survives well, and the later quarrying on the west and north west sides has affected no more than 30% of the total area. Archaeological information concerning its construction and the manner and duration of its use, as well as evidence for the local environment at that time, will be contained in the barrow mound, in soils buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the ditch. The barrow is located between two Neolithic long barrows which survive c.550m to the west and a dispersed group of round barrows between 1600m and 1750m to the east and north east, and the topographical association with these gives it added interest and importance. As a group, the barrows provide evidence for the character and development of the prehistoric population of the area.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a bell barrow located on a south west facing slope, immediately to the south of a disused railway. The site is near the western edge of the Good Sands region of upland north west Norfolk. The barrow is visible as a sub circular earthen mound standing to a maximum height of c.3m and measuring c.25m north east-south west by c.20m north west-south east at the base, with a surrounding berm up to 6m in width. This is enclosed by a circular ditch from which earth was quarried and used in the construction of the barrow. The ditch has become partly infilled but is marked on the south and east sides of the barrow by a hollow up to 10m wide and 0.8m deep in the ground surface. The barrow, including the ditch, has an overall diameter of c.48m. On the west and north sides, the ditch has been cut into to a depth of c.1m by irregular digging thought to be connected with the construction of the adjacent railway but the lower part of it will survive as a buried feature beneath the later disturbance.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 21345

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
3649: West Norfolk, West Rudham,
in Norwich Castle Museum, NCM 10.939, (1936)

End of official listing