Two bowl barrows 450m north west of Slough Glebe Farm, part of the Saunderton Lee barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013952

Date first listed: 19-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 450m north west of Slough Glebe Farm, part of the Saunderton Lee barrow cemetery
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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: Bledlow-cum-Saunderton

National Grid Reference: SU 80486 98972


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 two bowl barrows 450m north west of Slough Glebe Farm will retain significant archaeological information. Funerary remains will survive in buried features within the area of the mounds which will illustrate the function of the monuments and the beliefs of the community which built them. Funerary remains and other artefacts may also be found in the silts of the surrounding ditches, as well as environmental evidence which will demonstrate the appearance of the landscape in which they were set. The area between the barrows is of particular interest, since excavations at comparable sites have demonstrated the likelihood of further burials in such locations.

The associations between these barrows, the others in the immediate group, the wider alignment of which they form part, and the route of a prehistoric trackway which their locations imply, 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 buried remains of two Bronze Age bowl barrows located on a low ridge within the broad valley between Bledlow Ridge and Callows Hill, to the west of the railway line between Princes Risborough and High Wycombe.

Although the earthwork remains are now very slight, the buried ditches surrounding the barrows from which the material for the mounds was quarried remain clearly visible as cropmarks from the air and have been recorded on a series of aerial photographs taken between 1937 and 1981. The barrows are separated by the intersection of two modern farm tracks and by a distance of c.36m. The north western barrow measures approximately 42m in diameter (measured from the outer edge of the encircling ditch), slightly larger than the second barrow to the south east. Both locations are marked by concentrations of chalk rubble when the fields are ploughed.

The barrows lie in close proximity to three similar monuments positioned across the slope to the south east at intervals of between 80m and 100m. This group forms part of a wider alignment consisting of 10 barrows extending across the valley from Bradenham (approximately 1km to the south east) towards Wain Hill (3.5km to the north east). This alignment is thought to reflect the route of a prehistoric trackway which, from the topographic position of these two barrows, appears to have run within a shallow vale immediately to the west before continuing northwards around the western side of Lodge Hill. The two bowl barrows are apparently unexcavated, although flint implements of the period have been recovered from the surface of this field and the fields immediately to the south and west indicating further prehistoric activity.

The surfaces of the farm tracks are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 27119

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Head, J F, Early Man in South Buckinghamshire, (1955), 48
Head, J F, Early Man in South Buckinghamshire, (1955), 48
Aerial sequence 1937-1974, St Joseph, J K S (CUCAP), ARA 43/44,ACT 33/34,AFW 4-5,AST 41/42, BRW 1-5,BMH 84/85,CN 34.,
AP held at Bucks County Museums, Farley, M E, A5/15/5A 6A, (1981)
AP held by Bucks County Museums, Farley, M E, A5/15/5A 6A, (1981)
AP held by Bucks County Museums, Major Allen, 80/98, (1937)
AP held by Bucks Museums Service, Major Allen, SU 80/98, (1937)
AP plot filed under SMR 5649, Allen, D, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton (Molin's Factory) SU 80/98, (1979)
AP sequence 1937-74, St Joseph, J K S (CUCAP), ACT 33-4, AFW 4-5, ARA 43-4, BMH 84-5, BRW 1-5, CN 34,
Bucks County Museums Accessions Register, 1972,
Bucks County Museums Accessions Register, 1972,
Ordnance Survey record card, NKB, SU 89 NW 07, (1972)
Plot of AP information (Bucks Museum), Allen, D, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton (Molin's Factory) SU 80/98, (1979)

End of official listing