Bowl barrow 350m ENE of Saunderton Station


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013929

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 350m ENE of Saunderton Station
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Wycombe (District Authority)

Parish: Bradenham

National Grid Reference: SU 81629 98278


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

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite being reduced by cultivation, the bowl barrow 350m ENE of Saunderton Station will retain significant archaeological information. Funerary remains surviving in buried features within the area of the mound will illustrate the function of the monument and the beliefs of the community which built it. Further remains, funerary and otherwise, may also be found in the silts of the surrounding ditch, as well as environmental evidence which will provide information on the landscape in which it was set. The association between this barrow and the other barrows within the valley, and the implications of their alignment, are highly significant for the study of prehistoric settlement within the Chiltern Hills.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Bronze Age bowl barrow situated on the eastern side of Smalldean Lane, near the base of a wide valley between Park Wood and Bledlow Ridge.

The barrow stood in an area of woodland until the middle of the 19th century, but has since been ploughed, reducing the height of the mound to approximately 0.5m. The mound is some 25m in diameter, surrounded by a buried ditch which remains visible as a cropmark and has been recorded from the air. Aerial photographs also show a dark area in the centre of the barrow which is thought to indicate the remains of a turf stack at the core of the mound, over which a larger mound, composed primarily of chalk rubble, was raised.

A rounded flint scraper of Bronze Age date was found on the surface of the mound in 1981, and three flakes of worked flint and a flint blade were collected in the vicinity in 1984.

The barrow lies at the southern end of a dispersed group of similar monuments which extends across the valley towards Lodge Hill, some 4km to the north west. This alignment, which includes a small round barrow cemetery at Saunderton Lee, is thought to reflect the route of a prehistoric trackway leading towards Wain Hill and the northern edge of the Chiltern escarpment overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury.

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: 27125

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1959), 1-24
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1959), 1-24
Oblique filed with SMR, Ordnance Survey, 71.390. No. 250, (1971)
Obliques filed with SMR, Farley, M E, A5/15/1A, 2A, 3A, (1981)
Obliques filed with SMR, Farley, M E, A6/13/2A,, (1983)
Obliques filed with SMR, Farley, M E, A6/13/3A, 4A,, (1982)
Record of surface finds, 4990,

End of official listing