Group of three bowl barrows and one long barrow 90m northeast of Barrow House Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011528

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Aug-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Group of three bowl barrows and one long barrow 90m northeast of Barrow House Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Chewton Mendip

National Grid Reference: ST 60096 53286

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

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 organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. The group of three bowl barrows and one long barrow 90m northeast of Barrow House Farm survive comparatively well, despite an area of localised disturbance on the northern side of the long barrow. They form an important group and survive in an area which contains a concentration of contemporary burial monuments, thus giving an indication of the nature and scale of human occupation during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

History

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

Details

The monument includes three bowl barrows and one long barrow located in improved grassland 90m northeast of Barrow House Farm. From west to east the barrows can be described as follows: [ST60075334] Bowl barrow visible as a barrow mound 18m in diameter and c.1m high at its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. [ST60095334] Long barrow orientated east to west visible as a mound 34m long, 18m wide and c.3.75m high at its highest point. A hollow on the north side of the barrow mound may be due to a previous partial excavation although no details are known. Although no longer visible at ground level, a pair of ditches c.3m wide survive as buried features flanking the barrow mound on the north and south sides. [ST60135331] Bowl barrow visible as a mound 22m in diameter and c.2.5m high at its highest point. A quarry ditch survives as a buried feature c.3m wide surrounding the barrow mound. [ST60115329] Bowl barrow visible as a mound 24m in diameter and c.2m high at its highest point. A quarry ditch survives as a buried feature c.3m wide on the northwest, northeast and southwest sides of the barrow mound. On the southeast side the ditch has been removed by road construction and is not included in the scheduling. A drystone wall which surrounds the southernmost barrow on the northwest, southwest and southeast sides 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 13927

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, Prehistoric Sites of Mendip, (1966), p. 11
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, (1971), p. 84
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, (1971), p. 101
Other
mss AM 33726 folio 141 (02.06.1832), Skinner, BM, (1816)
mss BM 33653 folio 229 (11.08.1819), Skinner, BM, (1816)
mss BM 33726 folio 137-9 (2.06.1832), Skinner, BM, (1816)
SO 140, Porter, D K, (1991)
ST 65 SW 25, Ordnance Survey, ST 65 SW 25, (1960)

End of official listing