Three Bowl Barrows in Elhampark Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012219

Date first listed: 06-Aug-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Three Bowl Barrows in Elhampark Wood
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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: Elham

National Grid Reference: TR 16111 45581


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.

Although erosion, animal burrowing and arboricultural activities have spread the Elhampark Wood barrows to differing extents, in each case they retain significant archaeological potential since the original ground surface, the burials which were placed below ground level and the fill of the ditches survive apparently undisturbed except by tree roots. The close spacing of the barrows also provides the potential to explore the variability of burial practice within the related group.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost north-south, each of which comprises an earthen mound and an encircling ditch, as well as the archaeologically-sensitive area between them. The mound of the southernmost, and largest, of the three measures 41m in diameter and survives to a maximum height of 1.8m. On the western side the mound has been spread by the creation of a forest ride, although the mound still survives here to a height of 0.4m. The surrounding ditch has been infilled by erosion and during arboricultural activities and is not visible on the surface. Some 50m NNE of the centre of the first example is a second bowl barrow the mound of which is 14m in diameter and which stands to a maximum height of 0.4m. Another 50m NNE of the centre of this barrow is the third example, 21m across the mound and 0.5m high. In both of the latter cases the ditch has become infilled with soil and leaf litter so that it is not visible on the surface. The barrows and ditches together form a monument approximately 146m long and 51m wide.

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: 12818

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Bowl barrows, 1988,
TR14 NE7, TR14 NE7,

End of official listing