Bowl barrow on summit of Little Mell Fell


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011361

Date first listed: 17-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on summit of Little Mell Fell
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 09:20:32.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Matterdale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 42321 24017


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 mutilation of the eastern side of the monument, the bowl barrow on the summit of Little Mell Fell survives reasonably well. Limited disturbance to the monument has revealed a cremation, pottery and bronze, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon the old landsurface beneath.


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


The monument is a partly mutilated bowl barrow located on the summit of Little Mell Fell. It includes a flat-topped oval mound of earth and stone up to 0.9m high with maximum dimensions of 12.5m by 10.8m. There is an Ordnance Survey column on the western half of the barrow's summit. This column was repositioned in 1952. During this operation workmen discovered a cinerary urn 0.48m tall containing calcined bones together with two small pieces of bronze c.0.5m below the barrow's surface. The column is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 22564

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Huddleston, C R, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Notes - A Bronze Age Burial on Little Mell Fell, , Vol. LII, (1952), 178
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)

End of official listing