Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013936

Date first listed: 22-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)

Parish: Wendover

National Grid Reference: SP 86131 07093


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 on Bacombe Hill survives well as a landscape feature and, in the absence of previous investigation, archaeological deposits within and beneath the mound will remain largely undisturbed. These will include funerary remains illustrating the date and function of the monument and the beliefs of the community which built it; and evidence preserved in the earlier ground surface buried beneath the mound which may indicate the character of the landscape in which it was constructed. Comparison with the two other classes of barrow nearby will provide evidence for the development of early ritual practices and assist in the study of Bronze Age settlement in the Chiltern Hills.


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


The monument includes a small bowl barrow located in a prominent position on Bacombe Hill, overlooking Wendover to the north east, the Vale of Aylesbury to the north and the upper part of the Misbourne valley to the south east. The circular mound measures approximately 10m in diameter and 0.6m high. There is no evidence of a quarry ditch, and the mound is believed to be of `scraped' construction, using turf and topsoil from the surrounding area. The barrow lies in close proximity to a larger bell barrow and an associated pond barrow, located some 55m to the north east (the subject of a separate scheduling).

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: 27133

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, , Vol. 116, (1959), 23-24
Field notes: M. Farley. 1992, 0011,
info from Chilterns Project Officer, Damant, C, Bacombe Hill, (1995)

End of official listing