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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012423

Date first listed: 26-Aug-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 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 35223 62006


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. 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 as it survives well and, despite partial excavation of the site, has potential for the recovery of additional archaeological and environmental evidence. The significance of the site is enhanced by its inclusion within a dispersed barrow cemetery including five further barrow mounds. Barrow cemeteries give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and the nature of social organisation during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a steep north- facing escarpment known as Inkpen Hill. The barrow mound is 25m in diameter and survives to a height of 1.4m. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has been partly infilled over the years but survives as an earthwork 5m wide and 0.9m deep. The site was partially excavated in 1908. Finds included a cremation burial set inside a stone cist or box and accompanied by three bone implements, a bone needle and a bronze razor, all of which are believed to be contemporary with the barrow mound. 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: 12230

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, 'Transactions of the Newbury District Field Club' in Trans Newbury District Field Club (Volume 10), , Vol. 10, (1954), 21-2
Piggott, C M, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in PPS Volume 12, , Vol. 12, (1946), 137

End of official listing