Bowl barrow on Swinyard's Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012259

Date first listed: 30-Jan-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Swinyard's Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Feb-2019 at 11:36:43.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Shepway (District Authority)

Parish: Stowting

National Grid Reference: TR 12792 42540

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 the limited damage to the barrow on Swinyard's Hill caused by partial excavation and by agricultural activities, the monument retains considerable archaeological potential. Not only is the primary burial considered to be intact, but also surviving is the bulk of the mound and hence any other secondary burials inserted into it as well as much of the original ground surface beneath the mound with its evidence of the prior land-use of the area, and the soil accumulations in the ditches which often contain dating evidence.


The monument, which is situated on a slight south-facing slope, includes a roughly circular burial mound and a surrounding ditch which has been completely infilled by erosion and recent agricultural activity. The mound measures some 31m in diameter and stands over 2m higher than the ground on the south side, although because of the sloping ground this measurement is reduced to 0.7m on the northern side. The surrounding ditch is visible only as a band of darker grass some 3m wide separated from the present foot of the mound by between 3 and 5m. The mound edge formerly abutted the surrounding ditch, but subsequent erosion and agricultural activity has reduced the dimensions of the mound slightly, separating it from its ditch. The ditch originally provided the soil with which the mound was constructed. The mound and the ditch together have a diameter of 47m. This was once a comparatively large burial mound. It was partially excavated in 1870 by John Brent, who found fragments of Bronze Age pottery and the remains of a funeral pyre at a depth of less than 1m. These are likely to have belonged to a secondary burial: Brent considered that he had failed to locate the primary burial owing to the alteration of the shape of the mound during soil improvement activities in the 1840s. More recent agricultural activities exposed several stone tools in the soil of the mound, suggesting that other secondary burials, accompanied by grave goods, had been placed in the upper parts of the mound.

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: 12823

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Bowl barrows, 1988,
TR14 SW1, TR14 SW1,

End of official listing