Bowl barrow, known as Grinnel Hill, 260m SSE of Lodge Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011719

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 25-May-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow, known as Grinnel Hill, 260m SSE of Lodge Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Melbourn

National Grid Reference: TL 37504 43663


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 some disturbance caused by the alteration of the north eastern side of the mound, the bowl barrow known as Grinnel Hill is very well preserved. The mound stands to approximately its full height, in marked contrast to the majority of barrows within Cambridgeshire which are now only visible on aerial photographs. There is no evidence that the barrow has ever been excavated and archaeological remains (including burials) within the mound will remain undisturbed affording valuable insights into early burial practice. The former ground surface, buried beneath the mound, will provide information concerning the landscape in which it was constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its association with a wider group of similar monuments, including the remains of another bowl barrow situated some 40m to the NNW (the subject of a separate scheduling). Comparisons between these sites will provide valuable information concerning the variation and development of prehistoric burial practices.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in a prominent position on the northern facing slope of the chalk hills, some 250m to the south of the Royston Road (formerly the A10). The barrow mound measures 18m east to west and 22m north to south, and survives to approximately 3m in height. The mound is thought to have originally been circular in plan, however the profile of the north eastern side shows evidence of later truncation which has removed approximately 4m from the width. The steep sloping sides of the mound descend from a small level area on the summit measuring approximately 8m in diameter. The barrow, which is apparently unexcavated, forms part of a wider group of similar monuments which extend across the eastern fringe of the Chiltern Hills to the north and west of Royston. Many of the more conspicuous barrows were investigated in the 19th century, including examples at Heath Farm, 2km to the south, and Therfield Heath, 4km to the south west, and found to contain archaeological remains dating to the Bronze Age.

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: 24424

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fox, C, Grinnel Hill Tumulus, (1924)
Neville, R C, Sepulchra Exposita, (1848), 17-27
Stephenson, M, An Initial Survey of Prehistory in the Royston Area, 1980, Undergraduate dissertation

End of official listing