Two bowl barrows on Free Down, 550m south of Hill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012223

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows on Free Down, 550m south of Hill Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Dover (District Authority)

Parish: Ringwould with Kingsdown

National Grid Reference: TR 36472 47064


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 the barrows were disturbed by the partial excavations in 1872, they were not fully investigated before being reinstated and significant proportions of the barrows survive intact. The monument therefore has the potential to provide further evidence on the nature and duration of use of the barrows and of the environment in which they were constructed.


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


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows each of which comprises an earthen mound encircled by a now-infilled quarry ditch. It also includes the area between the barrows which excavations on comparable sites have shown to be the location of further burials without covering mounds. The north-eastern example measures 17m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 1.8m on the western side, diminishing to 0.5m on the eastern side as the ground level rises. There is no clear indication of the position of the ditch, which has been infilled by soil washed from the mound. Its near neighbour to the south-west has a slightly truncated mound measuring 19m NE-SW by 12m SE-NW and standing to 2.1m at its highest point. The oval shape is considered to be the result of changes caused by agricultural practices; the mound was originally circular. Like its neighbour, this example has no visible surrounding ditch, soil from the mound having filled it. Both of these barrows were partially excavated in 1872 by C. Woodruff and subsequently carefully reinstated. In the south-western mound were found four inverted pottery vessels containing ashes of cremated individuals as well as miniature pots and beads of blue glass-like material known as faience. Fragments of pottery were found in the north-eastern of the two mounds.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12834

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Woodruff, C, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Archaeologia Cantiana, , Vol. IX, (), 16-30
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
SMR No. TR 34 NE,

End of official listing