Bowl barrow in Great Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014456

Date first listed: 05-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Great Wood
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: The City of Brighton and Hove (Unitary Authority)

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 32852 09440

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.

Although the barrow in Great Wood has been partly disturbed by tree growth and waste dumping, it survives comparatively well, and part excavation has shown that it will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence dating to the period in which it was constructed and used. The presence of later burials within the mound indicates the continued recognition and utilization of the funerary nature of the monument into the historical period.


The monument includes a prehistoric bowl barrow situated on a ridge of the Sussex Downs towards the north eastern edge of the modern town of Brighton. The barrow has a roughly circular mound c.14.5m in diameter, which survives to a height of up 0.8m. The uneven profile of the mound indicates some previous disturbance caused by partial excavation and modern waste dumping. The excavation took place in the 1890s, when three extended skeletons were discovered in the mound. These are thought to indicate the later reuse of the barrow, representing pagan burials deposited during the Early Middle Ages. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. A modern tarmac path has been laid over part of the ditch on its south western side. The surface of the path is excluded from the scheduling, but 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: 27018

Legacy System: RSM


Source 2, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, TQ 30 NW 41, (1951)

End of official listing