Bell barrow on Bowledge Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013012

Date first listed: 07-Dec-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow on Bowledge Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 13:41:25.


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

District: Windsor and Maidenhead (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sunninghill and Ascot

National Grid Reference: SU 91342 68719


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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

The Bowledge Hill monument is of particular importance because, despite partial excavation, much of the monument survives well, in particular ditch deposits, much of the barrow mound and the buried ground surface. The site has considerable potential both for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow situated in the grounds of Heatherwood Hospital on Bowledge Hill. The mound survives to a height of 1.3m and has a maximum diameter of 17m. This is the only surviving member of a small barrow cemetery on Bowledge Hill. The monument was partially excavated in the 1970s, revealing the original structure of the mound and a date for its construction of 1500 BC. The mound was constructed as a turf stack and was surrounded by a wide berm and a ditch 2m wide and 1m deep. Although no longer visible at ground level, the ditch, from which mound material was quarried, survives as a buried feature having been infilled over the years. The tarmac surface which surrounds the barrow mound is excluded from the monument, although the ground beneath is included.

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.

Legacy System number: 12076

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bradley, R, Keith-Lucas, M, Excavation And Pollen Analysis On A Bell Barrow At Ascot, (1975)

End of official listing