Round barrow cemetery on Inkpen Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012919

Date first listed: 26-Aug-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Round 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 34970 62042


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

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 Inkpen Hill Barrow cemetery is of particular importance because, despite partial excavation in 1908, it survives well and has considerable archaeological potential. The barrow group is central to a wider barrow cemetery, dispersed along the crest of Inkpen Hill. Such monuments provide a clear indication of the intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.


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


The monument includes three contiguous bowl barrows orientated east-west and set below the crest of a steep north-facing escarpment. The western barrow mound is 9m across and stands to a height of 1m. Surrounding it is a ditch from which the mound material was quarried. This is visible to the south-east as a low earthwork 4m wide and 0.4m deep, and survives elsewhere as a buried feature. The central mound has a diameter of 13m and a height of 1.5m. The ditch is visible as an earthwork, 4m wide and 0.3m deep, to the south of the mound and survives as a buried feature elsewhere. The eastern barrow has a diameter of 10m and is 1m high. The ditch abuts that of the central barrow mound but is visible to the north, south and east to a depth of 0.5m and a width of 4m. All the mounds were partially excavated in 1908. Finds included two cremation burials and a selection of artefacts including pottery and flint tools.

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: 12070

Legacy System: RSM


(Newbury Museum Acc No 1909/117b),
Newbury Museum Acc No 0.4.357, Crawford, O G S,

End of official listing