Round barrow cemetery on Cock Marsh


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery on Cock Marsh
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Windsor and Maidenhead (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 88675 87019

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The Cock Marsh cemetery is particularly important as it survives well and, despite partial excavation, has considerable archaeological potential.


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery situated on the floodplain of the River Thames at Cock Marsh, 1km west of Bourne End. The cemetery comprises four bowl barrows, all of which survive as earthworks. The northernmost barrow (SU88658706) has a maximum diameter of 25m and survives to a height of 0.5m. A ditch, c.3m wide and from which mound material was quarried, surrounds the mound surviving as a buried feature. The mound at SU88638700 has been truncated on its western side by the construction of a drainage ditch and, subsequently, by ploughing. The eastern side survives to a maximum diameter of 40m from north to south and stands to a height of 1m. The ditch is clearly visible around the eastern side of the mound, surviving to a width of 5m and a depth of up to 0.5m. The barrow at SU88708700 has a diameter of 30m and survives to a height of 2m, while the southernmost barrow (SU88738693) is 35m in diameter and 0.75m high. Both mounds are surrounded by ditches c.3m wide. Neither ditch is visible at ground level although both survive as buried features. The cemetery has maximum dimensions of 160m from north-south and 90m from east-west. All four barrows were partially excavated between 1874 and 1877. Finds included a cremation burial in a stone cist, flint tools, pottery and animal bones. In addition a later Saxon inhumation was found in one of the mounds.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

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In possession of F M Underhill, Re SM 12072,


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

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