Two bowl barrows 300m north-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012434

Date first listed: 27-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 300m north-east 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 32672 83189

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 bowl barrows are important as, despite levelling by cultivation, they are an integral part of the `Seven Barrows' cemetery. Barrow cemeteries 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 Seven barrows cemetery is a fine example of its class containing a wide range of barrow types.


The monument includes two bowl barrows set just above the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mounds are orientated NE-SW and are separated by a distance of some 15-20m. Both have been levelled by cultivation although in each case the ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, and the old ground surface survive as buried features. The southern mound originally had a diameter of 10m and was surrounded by a ditch c.2m wide. The northern mound was 22m across and the ditch 3m wide. Sarsen boulders were once recorded on the surface of the southern mound. Both mounds are part of the Seven Barrows cemetery, the core of which lies to the south-east.

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: 12277

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Case, H, 'Berkshire Archaeological Journal' in Berkshire Archaeological Journal (Volume 55), , Vol. 55, (1956), 15-31

End of official listing