Bowl barrow and pillbox on Cherry Garden Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011771

Date first listed: 28-Jul-1939

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow and pillbox on Cherry Garden Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Shepway (District Authority)

Parish: Folkestone

National Grid Reference: TR 20832 38015

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.

Although the bowl barrow on Cherry Garden Hill has been been the subject of some disturbance caused by the construction of the later pillbox, it survives reasonably well, and partial excavation has demonstrated that it will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Pillboxes are small, squat defensive buildings constructed to provide protection for vulnerable areas threatened with German invasion during both World Wars, but particularly during World War II. There are around ten main forms, of which type 24, the irregular hexagonal form, is the most common. They are especially representative of World War II defensive structures; around 18,000 are thought to have been built nationally between 1939-1945, of which c.6,000 may remain. Despite some later disturbance, the pillbox on Cherry Garden Hill survives comparatively well, and illustrates the importance of the Downs to the north of the particularly vulnerable Kent coast as one of the first lines of defence during World War II.


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow and a pillbox situated on a steeply sided spur which projects from a ridge of the Kent Downs. The bowl barrow has a roughly circular mound 20m in diameter and around 1.3m high, which has been altered by the deposition of additional, excavated material around its circumference at a later date. The mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The centre of the barrow was disturbed by the construction of a pillbox during World War II, when a primary, crouched human burial was discovered. A second burial was also found towards the edge of the barrow mound. The pillbox, which would have been used mainly as a look-out post, is a low, hexagonal structure built of reinforced concrete, with a diameter of c.7m. It has a lobbyed entrance on its southern side, and each of its six faces are pierced by rectangular machine gun slits. Both the entrance and the gun slits have since been blocked with modern concrete.

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: 25472

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Stebbing, W P D, Cave, J E, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Cherry Garden Hill Tumulus, Folkestone, , Vol. 56, (1943), 28-33

End of official listing