Bowl barrow 390m N of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012416

Date first listed: 21-Mar-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Aug-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 390m N of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery
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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: Sparsholt

National Grid Reference: SU 32511 83267


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 Sevenbarrows Farm barrow is important as it survives comparatively well and, despite partial excavation of the site, has potential for the recovery of environmental and further archaeological remains, particularly from the ditch and land surface buried beneath the mound. The significance of the site is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within the `Seven Barrows' barrow cemetery. Such groups give an indication of the intensity with which areas were occupied during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of social organisation within Bronze Age society.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on the floor of a dry valley in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 40m in diameter and stands to a height of 3m. A ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, surrounds the mound and is visible as an earthwork to the north and north-east where it survives to a width of 3m and is 0.1m deep. The site was partially excavated in the 1850s. Finds included the remains of a funeral pyre with a human cremation. Accompanying the bones were a bronze awl, a riveted dagger wrapped in cloth and an incense cup. Also in the barrow but later than its construction, were an inhumation burial, a cremation in a pottery urn sealed beneath a chalk casing and 112 further cremations above the chalk casing. Of these, 58 were in urns and all surrounded by sarsen stones. The metalling and services of the adjacent road are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 12241

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Thomas, N, Guide to Prehistoric England, (1976), 50-1

End of official listing