Twin bell barrow and a bowl barrow on Asdean Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011598

Date first listed: 11-Aug-1993


Ordnance survey map of Twin bell barrow and a bowl barrow on Asdean Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Stoughton

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 80771 10751


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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, dating from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds and, although superficially similar, they exhibit regional variations of form and diversity of burial practice. They occur across most of lowland Britain. Despite evidence of partial excavation, the twin bell barrow and bowl barrow on Asdean Down survive well and contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Twin bell barrows are rare and this is one of the very few examples in south-east England.


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


The monument includes two bell barrows surrounded by a single ditch and a separate bowl barrow to the north-east, all situated on the north-facing slope of a ridge of chalk downland. The mound of the south-western bell barrow is 17m in diameter and 3m high and that of the north-eastern barrow is 18m in diameter and 3.5m high. Both mounds have central hollows which suggest that they were once partially excavated. Surrounding the mounds is a sloping platform, or berm, a maximum 4m wide on the south-east side, which is contained by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the barrows. This has become partially infilled over the years and now survives as an earthwork 5.5m wide and between 0.5m and 1m deep. Directly to the north-east of the bell barrows is the bowl barrow. This has a mound 12m in diameter and 0.7m high, surrounded by a quarry ditch. This too has become infilled over the years and is now visible as a slight 2.5m wide depression to the south-west of the mound, the remainder surviving as a buried feature.

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: 20101

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 233,247

End of official listing