Bowl barrow 300m south of Finger Post Plantation: part of Great Bircham barrow group


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010563

Date first listed: 12-Apr-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 300m south of Finger Post Plantation: part of Great Bircham barrow group
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jan-2019 at 14:53:58.


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: Bircham

National Grid Reference: TF 77422 31111


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 300m south of Finger Post Plantation survives well. The antiquarian investigation of the mound was limited in extent, and archaeological information concerning the construction of the barrow 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 the soils buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the buried ditch. The monument and the information it retains have additional interest and importance in relation to the two round barrows to the south of it and another, 370m to the north, which forms part of the same group.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is the northernmost of three round barrows aligned north west-south east on level ground above a slight north east facing slope. They stand on what was once heathland in the Good Sands region of upland north west Norfolk. The barrow is visible as an earthen mound c.1.8m high and covering a circular area c.28m in diameter. Records of the barrow as it appeared in the 1930s confirm that the mound is encircled by a ditch, marked at that time by a hollow up to 4.5m wide and 0.6m deep in the ground surface. The ditch, from which earth was dug and used in the construction of the barrow, has now become completely infilled but survives as a buried feature. The barrow mound was investigated during limited excavations on the barrow group in 1842. The posts of a fence set around the foot of the mound are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 21350

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Lukis, F C, A Brief Account of the Barrows near Bircham Magna, Norfolk, (1843)
1705: West Norfolk, Bircham,

End of official listing