Six bowl barrows in Knight's Wood, 500m south-east of White House Farm: part of Seven Hills barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011540

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Six bowl barrows in Knight's Wood, 500m south-east of White House Farm: part of Seven Hills barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Nacton

National Grid Reference: TM 22317 41221


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 group of six barrows 500m south-east of White House Farm forms a part of one of the best examples of a round barrow cemetery in Suffolk. Most such cemeteries developed over a long period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including different types of round barrow and, wherever large scale investigation beyond barrows has been undertaken, revealing contemporary or later 'flat' burials between the barrow mounds. The individual barrows in this group retain important archaeological information, including evidence concerning their construction, the manner and duration of their use, and also the local environment at that time, which will be preserved in the mounds and in the soils buried beneath the mounds. Further evidence relating to the use of the cemetery will be contained in archaeological deposits in the area between the mounds. The Seven Hills cemetery is part of a larger group of round barrows and circular ditched enclosures which extend in a line to the south-east, over a distance of 3km, to Levington Heath. The former parish boundary between 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.


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


The monument includes a group of six bowl barrows clustered within Seven Hills barrow cemetery, situated in a narrow belt of woodland between the A1156, to the north, and the Ipswich-Felixstowe railway line, to the south. The barrows are visible as earthen mounds, the largest of which covers a circular area 31m in diameter and stands to a height of 1.2m. This is the most northerly of the group. The smallest, located 34m west of the first, measures 0.4m in height and is recorded as having covered an area c.11m in diameter, although the part which remains upstanding now has a maximum diameter of 5m. South-west of this, at a distance of 11m, is the third mound, which measures 1.4m in height and 22m in diameter and which is in alignment with a further two, sited to the south-east of it at intervals of 20m and 18m respectively. The middle mound of this alignment is clipped on the south-western edge by the fence bordering the railway line. It stands to a height of 0.75m and covers a sub-circular area with a maximum diameter of 20m. The easternmost mound, which is similarly truncated on the south-western edge by the boundary of the railway line, measures 15m north-east to south-west by c.12m north-east to south-west and stands to a height of 0.7m. The sixth mound lies 35m east of this, on the eastern side of the group as a whole, and measures c.27m in diameter and 0.5m in height. The barrows occupy an area with maximum dimensions of 155m north- west to south-east and 80m north-east to south-west.

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: 21281

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911)
Wodderspoon, J, Memorials of Ipswich, (1850)
Healy, F, AM107, (1986)
J, NAC 012,
Microfiche, Lawson, A J, Martin, E M & Priddy, D, The Barrows of East Anglia, East Anglian Archaeology, (1981)
No. 8417, Morley, C, East Anglian Miscellany, (1931)
Paterson, H, AM7, (1981)
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,

End of official listing