Bowl barrow in Lowndes Park, known as the `Rolling Pin'


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013931

Date first listed: 15-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Lowndes Park, known as the `Rolling Pin'
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Chiltern (District Authority)

Parish: Chesham

National Grid Reference: SP 95482 01774


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.

The bowl barrow in Lowndes Park is very well preserved. The mound stands close to its original height and there is no evidence that it has ever been excavated. Funerary remains will survive within and below the mound enabling valuable insights into the burial practices and the beliefs of the community which constructed the monument. In addition, the former ground surface, which lies buried beneath the mound, will retain evidence for the character of the surrounding area in which it was constructed. The `Rolling Pin' barrow is an easily appreciated, accessible and highly significant indication of early settlement in the Chess Valley area.


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


The Bronze Age bowl barrow, known locally as the `Rolling Pin', is situated some 280m north west of St Mary's Church, near the top of a south east facing slope in a public park near the centre of Chesham. The barrow mound measures approximately 22.5m in diameter and, at c.1.7m, stands close to its original height. Although the barrow is not sited on the summit of the hill, it occupies a prominent position overlooking the valley to the south east and stands out clearly against the horizon when viewed from the valley floor. This setting, in common with many barrows in the region, indicates a desire to make the mound visible from the prehistoric routes between the hills. The mound's remarkable state of preservation reflects its location within the former grounds of Bury Hill Gate, the rectorial manor of Chesham Latimer. The manor house was demolished around 1800, shortly after the estate was acquired by the Lowndes family who owned the adjacent property known as The Bury. The grounds were subsequently opened as a public amenity, and in 1953 the majority of the park was conveyed to the Urban District Council. The barrow shows some signs of secondary use. The summit has been flattened to form a level platform, some 10m across, and fragments of brick have been noted in two places perhaps indicating the former presence of a summer house or gazebo.

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: 27127

Legacy System: RSM


Clarke, A, Ordnance Survey Record Card SP 90 SE 35, (1960)
Discussion of mound's origin, Wise, J, Mound in Chesham Park, (1995)
Research notes filed with SMR, English Heritage, Research notes for Gardens Register : Lowndes park, Chesham, (1990)
Smock Mill at Lacey Green, Birch, C, The Book of Chesham, (1976)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Source Date: 1885 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing