Bowl barrow on southern edge of Dunseal Wood, 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014110

Date first listed: 18-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on southern edge of Dunseal Wood, 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Abbey Dore

National Grid Reference: SO 39117 33821


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 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate is a well preserved example of this class of monument. The barrow mound will retain details of its method of construction and burial remains which will increase our understanding of both the technology and burial practices of the Bronze Age community who built and used it. The old ground surface sealed beneath the mound will preserve environmental evidence for land use immediately prior to the barrow's construction. In its prominent position on the skyline the monument would have been clearly visible to the Bronze Age population, and to the builders of Roman Stone Street which approaches the ridge from the north east. Its association with the boundary bank increases its interest as a possible territorial marker as well as a burial monument.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a bowl barrow, situated on the edge of an escarpment which slopes steeply north eastwards into Dunseal Wood. The remains include an earthen mound built on the end of a natural ridge extending from the south east. The mound enhances the ridge to a height of 2.5m at its north west end, sloping away to a maximum of 0.8m above the natural surface of the ridge. The mound has a maximum diameter of 14m, although its extent is difficult to discern where it blends in with the slope; this is particularly true of the south east end, where thick brambles and bracken obscure the contours of the ridge itself. There are three mature trees at the base of the mound to the north west, and one on the summit. To the north east there is a narrow flat edge around the mound before the ground falls away steeply into the wood. In the north west quarter a gate marks the end of a path which defines the edge of the wood along the same alignment as the ridge itself. Along the outside edge of this path is an earthen bank, c.1.5m wide by 0.6m high, with small trees and brambles along its top. The bank follows the western edge of the barrow at a distance of c.1.5m, then makes a right angled turn c.3m beyond it, continuing north east for several metres before disappearing into the undergrowth. This bank clearly respects the barrow, and its builders may have used it as an end point for the field boundary. This boundary may itself have its origins in prehistory, with the barrow also acting as a territorial marker, defining a land division which has been preserved to the present day. Before the surrounding vegetation took hold the barrow would have commanded impressive views to north east and south west, and would have been clearly visible to the Roman builders of Stone Street, which approaches Dunseal Wood from the north east. The wire fence which runs along the boundary bank is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath it 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: 27502

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, , Guide to prehistoric and Roman sites in Herefordshire, (1976), 4
DJC, (1972)
SO 33 SE 14, Ordnance Survey, SO 33 SE 14, (1972)

End of official listing