Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch, 700m south west of Redhouse Farm: part of a barrow cemetery on Levington Heath.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch, 700m south west of Redhouse Farm: part of a barrow cemetery on Levington Heath.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 24838 40425

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 three bowl barrows and adjacent ring ditch 700m south west of Redhouse Farm are components of an important round barrow cemetery. Most of such cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early mediaeval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including different types of round barrow and, whenever large scale investigation has been undertaken, revealing contemporary or later `flat' graves between the barrow mounds. Although the barrow mounds have been reduced by ploughing, they retain important archaeological information. Evidence concerning their construction and the manner and duration of their use, and also the local environment, at and prior to that time, will be contained in the soils preserved beneath the mounds and in the fills of the buried ditches and the central pit within the ring ditch. The Levington Heath barrow cemetery is part of a larger group of round barrows and circular ditched enclosures which extend in a line to the north west, over a distance of 3km, to Seven Hills, Nacton. The parish boundary between Levington and Nacton, to the south, and Bucklesham and Foxhall, to the north, follows the same line, showing a relationship which is of particular interest for the study of the prehistoric and medieval landscape history of the area.


The monument includes three bowl barrows and a ring ditch within Levington barrow cemetery, situated on level ground 230m north west of the junction between the parish boundaries of Levington, to the west, Bucklesham to the north, and Stratton Hall to the south. The barrows are visible as three low, earthen mounds, marked also by light coloured, sandy patches in the ploughsoil, and are spaced approximately 10m apart in a north-south alignment. Each of the mounds is encircled by a buried ditch which is visible on aerial photographs. The southernmost mound stands to a height of approximately 0.25m and covers a circular area approximately 27m in diameter; the middle and northern mounds respectively measure approximately 0.4m and 0.3m in height, and cover circular areas approximately 30m in diameter. All three have been reduced and spread by ploughing. The surrounding ditches, from which earth was dug during construction of the barrows, have become completely infilled, but survive as buried features up to 3m wide beneath the ploughsoil and the spread of the mounds. Approximately 40m west of the northern mound is the site of a fourth barrow, the buried ditch of which is visible as a cropmark, defining a circular enclosure approximately 25m in diameter, containing a large, central pit. Such a feature is known as a ring ditch.

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:
Legacy System:


AM7, (1959)
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ 30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,


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

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