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
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Shepway (District Authority)
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
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
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing