Bowl barrow south of Rivar Copse: part of a barrow cemetery on Inkpen Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012422

Date first listed: 19-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow south of Rivar Copse: part of a barrow cemetery on Inkpen Hill
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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: Inkpen

National Grid Reference: SU 34985 61962

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. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy prominent locations makes them 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 Inkpen Hill barrow is important because, with no evidence of formal excavation, it has potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence. The significance of the site is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within a dispersed barrow cemetery. Such monuments give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of social organisation during the Bronze Age.


The monument includes a bowl barrow set in a prominent location on the crest of Inkpen Hill. The barrow mound is 10m in diameter and stands to a height of 0.5m. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which mound material was quarried, surrounds the barrow. This has become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The monument is part of a dispersed barrow cemetery comprising six barrows, all within 200m of each other, set on and below the crest of Inkpen Hill.

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: 12229

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Berkshire Archaeological Journal' in Berkshire Archaeological Journal (Volume 43), , Vol. 43, (1939), 15
SU 36 SW 1, NAR (Bowl barrow south of Rivar Copse),

End of official listing