Two bowl barrows 500m north-east of Stancombe Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012349

Date first listed: 23-Oct-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Aug-1991


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 500m north-east of Stancombe Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lambourn

County: Oxfordshire

District: Vale of White Horse (District Authority)

Parish: Letcombe Bassett

National Grid Reference: SU 35712 82516


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.

The Stancombe Farm barrows are particularly important as they survive well and, despite partial excavation of the site, have potential for the recovery of environmental evidence and additional archaeological remains, especially in the area of the ditches and on the buried ground surface.


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


The monument includes two bowl barrows set on a gentle south-east facing slope, above the floor of a dry valley and in an area of undulating chalk downland. The southwestern barrow survives to a height of 1.8m and has a maximum diameter of 16m. Traces of a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, can be seen to the NW and SE of the mound. It survives to a width of 5m and an average depth of 0.5m. Adjacent to this mound on the NE side is a second bowl barrow. This survives to a height of 1.5m and has a diameter of c.20m. Traces of the ditch can be seen to the NW of the mound where it survives to a maximum depth of 0.9m and a width of c.5m. Both of the mounds were partially excavated in the late 19th century by Canon Greenwell, a prolific excavator of barrows. Finds included animal bones, pottery, and in the north-eastern mound a cremation burial.

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: 12069

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Greenwell, Canon, 'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia (Volume 52), , Vol. 52, (1890), 59-61
Grinsell, L V, 'Berkshire Archaeological Journal' in Berkshire Archaeological Journal (Volume 40), , Vol. 40, (1936), 36
Piggott, S, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society: Volume 4, , Vol. 4, (1938), 102

End of official listing