Bowl barrow north of Holden's Firs: part of the Holden's Firs barrow cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012425

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Apr-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow north of Holden's Firs: part of the Holden's Firs barrow cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Stratfield Mortimer

National Grid Reference: SU 64248 65140

Summary

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 Holden's Firs barrow is important because, despite partial excavation, it has potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence, especially in the area of the ditch and from the old ground surface beneath the barrow mound. 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow set on high level ground between the River Kennet to the north and Foudry Brook to the south. The barrow survives as a raised area 2m above present ground level within a large area extracted for gravel in the early 1980s. The barrow mound is 25m in diameter and c.0.5m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument surrounds the mound and survives as a buried feature. Partial excavation in the early 1980s showed the ditch to be c.2m wide and also produced evidence for a central turf stack which formed the base of the barrow mound. The monument is an outlier to a dispersed barrow cemetery located in and around Holden's Firs.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12232

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Lobb, S, Report submitted to DoE, 1981, Report submitted to DoE

End of official listing