Bowl barrow 900m north east of Crow Hall: one of a group of round barrows on Harpley Common


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010574

Date first listed: 12-Apr-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 900m north east of Crow Hall: one of a group of round barrows on Harpley Common
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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: Harpley

National Grid Reference: TF 75937 28387


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 900m north east of Crow Hall is part of one of the principal barrow groups surviving in north west Norfolk, and retains archaeological information which has additional interest in this context. It remains in itself an impressive monument and, although it has undergone limited excavation in the past, the scale of the disturbance is relatively small. Evidence for the construction of the barrow and for the manner and duration of its use, as well as for the local environment at the time, will be contained in the mound, in the soil buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the buried ditch. The barrow group as a whole is of wider importance for the study of the character and development of the prehistoric population of the area.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is one of a dispersed group of round barrows, sited on a broad ridge at the western edge of the Good Sands upland region of north west Norfolk. The barrow stands in a prominent position 50m east of Peddars Way and is visible as a flat-topped mound c.3m high, covering a subcircular area measuring c.29m north east-south west by 27m north west- south east. The mound is surrounded by a ditch which has become infilled but which survives as a buried feature, formerly marked by a slight hollow in the ground surface. The identification of the monument as a barrow is confirmed by records of a limited excavation carried out by F C Lukis, who in 1843 opened a trench c.2.75m wide on the south side of the mound. He observed parts of an urn or urns, as well as deposits of cremated bone and charcoal, and also noted that the prehistoric ground surface was preserved beneath the mound.

The barrow group as a whole is aligned on a north west-south east axis over a distance of c.2.6km.

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: 21337

Legacy System: RSM


MS notebook in Guernsey Museum, Lukis, FC, (1843)
Watson, A Q, 3527: North West Norfolk, Harpley, (1935)

End of official listing