Bowl barrow and adjacent group of seven small barrows 550m NNE of Swan Lodge: part of a barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013581

Date first listed: 24-Apr-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow and adjacent group of seven small barrows 550m NNE of Swan Lodge: part of a barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Salthouse

National Grid Reference: TG 06825 42416


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 barrows 550m NNE of Swan Lodge are of particular interest as an associated group within a large cemetery whose visible components include a variety of different barrow types and forms of burial. The principal bowl barrow survives well, and the area of possible disturbance noted on the south eastern side of the mound is small in relation to the monument as a whole. This barrow will retain archaeological information concerning its construction and the manner and duration of its use, and evidence for the local environment during that period is likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound. The adjacent mounds are unusual in their small size and will contain evidence for the later use of this part of the cemetery which, in the context of the cemetery as a whole, is of value for the study of the development of the prehistoric population of the area. The ground between the barrows is also likely to include buried archaeological features containing additional information relating to the cemetery and its use.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow and an adjacent group of seven small barrows located on the western side of Salthouse Heath, 25m north of the parish boundary between Salthouse and Cley next the Sea. The barrows form a cluster within a dispersed round barrow cemetery which extends over an area of c.1.3 sq km. The principal barrow is visible as an earthen mound, standing to a height of c.0.8m and covering a circular area c.15m in diameter. A shallow depression in the surface of the mound, extending from the south eastern edge towards the centre, perhaps marks the site of an old investigation. It is probable that the mound is encircled by a ditch, and although this ditch has become infilled and can no longer be traced on the ground surface, it will survive as a buried feature. The estimated overall width of the barrow, including a ditch, is c.21m. The smaller barrows are visible as regularly formed mounds of earth and gravel c.0.3m to 0.4m in height and from 4m to 5m in diameter, and lie within an area of c.1500 sq m to the east and south east of the larger mound. Two of them are directly in line to the east of it, at a distance of 4m and 11m respectively. The second is the larger and better defined, measuring c.5m in diameter and c.0.4m in height. The northern side of the nearer mound has been cut into by the digging of a narrow L-shaped trench across the north eastern and north western edges, the trench being marked by a shallow rectilinear hollow c.0.7m wide and c.2.6m long. The remaining five barrows are in a south west to north east alignment to the east of these. At the southern end of the alignment are two contiguous mounds. One measures c.4.5m in diameter and 0.4m in height, and the second, to the south of it and c.22m south east of the principal barrow, is slightly smaller. The third, fourth and fifth barrows of the alignment, which are all of very similar size and appearance, are spaced at intervals of 13m and 18m apart and lie respectively c.31m ESE, c.46m east and c.65m ENE of the principal barrow. Several similar small mounds, located to the east of this group, were excavated in 1936 and 1939 and each was found to cover an urn of Middle Bronze Age type (c.1200-1000 BC) containing cremated human bone.

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: 21369

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Clarke, R R, 'Archaeol J' in The Iron Age in Norfolk and Suffolk, (1939), 20
Clarke, R R, 'Archaeol J' in The Iron Age in Norfolk and Suffolk, (1939), 20
Wake, T, 'East Anglian Mag' in Coordinating Regional Research, , Vol. 4, (1939), 127

End of official listing