Oval barrow in Bodham Wood, 600m ESE of Warren Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013567

Date first listed: 18-Aug-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Oval barrow in Bodham Wood, 600m ESE of Warren Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013567 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 20:20:31.


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

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Bodham

National Grid Reference: TG 10889 40488


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

Reasons for Designation

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle Neolithic periods, with the majority of dated monuments belonging to the later part of the range. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. These ditches can vary from paired "banana-shaped" ditches flanking the mound to "U-shaped" or unbroken oval ditches nearly or wholly encircling it. Along with the long barrows, oval barrows represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, oval barrows have produced two distinct types of burial rite: communal burials of groups of individuals, including adults and children, laid directly on the ground surface before the barrow was built; and burials of one or two adults interred in a grave pit centrally placed beneath the barrow mound. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that they may have acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Similarly, as the filling of the ditches around oval barrows often contains deliberately placed deposits of pottery, flintwork and bone, periodic ceremonial activity may have taken place at the barrow subsequent to its construction. Oval barrows are very rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all oval barrows are considered to be nationally important.

The oval barrow in Bodham Wood is one of two examples of this rare class of monument which have been identified in this area of Norfolk, the other being c.2.5km to the north east. It survives well, and will contain archaeological information concerning its construction and the manner and duration of its use, as well as evidence for the local environment at and prior to that time, which is likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the buried ditches. It is one of a large number of barrows of varying type and date located on glacial sands and gravels along the northern part of the Cromer Ridge, south of the coast. These barrows, as a group, are of importance for the study of the distribution, character and development of the prehistoric population of the area.


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


The monument includes an oval barrow located on the high ground of the Cromer Ridge, c.3km south of the coast. The barrow is visible as an oval mound measuring c.29m on a north east to south west axis by 22m north west to south east, standing to a maximum height of c.1.6m near the north eastern end, and shelving slightly towards the south west. There is a hollow c.5m wide and of uneven depth in the ground surface along the northern side of the mound, and very slight hollows of similar width can also be traced around the western end and along the south side. These hollows are considered to mark ditches, now almost completely infilled, from which earth was quarried and used in the construction of the barrow.

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: 21375

Legacy System: RSM


Coad, V, AM7, (1977)
Lawson, AJ, 6300: North Norfolk, Bodham, (1976)
NAR TG 14 SW 33, (1980)

End of official listing