Bowl barrow: part of a barrow cemetery in Holden's Firs
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jul-2019 at 09:30:06.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
- Stratfield Mortimer
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 64450 65138
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 as it survives comparatively well and, despite disturbance to the barrow mound by afforestation, 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 in the Bronze Age.
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 mound is
25m in diameter and is 1m high. Surrounding the barrow mound is a ditch, from
which mound material was quarried. This survives as a low earthwork 4m wide
and 0.3m deep to the south-west of the mound, and as a buried feature
The monument is an outlier to a barrow cemetery located in and around
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:
- Legacy System:
Berkshire SMR, 1020.07,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing