Bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014540

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014540 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 11:25:58.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Craswall

National Grid Reference: SO 27479 38202

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 some past disturbance, the bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm is a well preserved example of this class of monument. Burial remains will be preserved within the cist, and the slabs may show signs of being worked and dressed. All these elements can tell us about the technology and burial practices of the prehistoric community who built and used the monument. The deposits within the chamber will preserve environmental evidence for land use around the monument during its construction. In its prominent position on the edge of the ridge, the cist's close association with the Cefn Track and parish boundary increases interest in the monument as a possible territorial marker, as well as a burial monument. When viewed along with other examples in the area the monument can contribute to our understanding of the social organisation and demography of the county's Bronze Age population.


The monument includes the buried remains of a barrow which incorporates a burial chamber, or cist, situated at the top of the south west facing Cefn Ridge, west of the Cefn Track. The cist includes a large stone slab lying flat, with two edges protruding from the ground for 1.2m. Beneath it are several smaller stones, embedded in the soil. The surrounding area is distinctly hummocky, suggesting the presence of further stones which may have been disturbed from their original positions by ploughing or early investigation of the site. The earthen mound which would originally have covered the cist is no longer visible, however in 1950 a slight mound was recorded and vestiges of this may well survive in the uneven ground around the cist. The same record notes that this area was defined by a distinct level area, or berm. Some 4km to the south east another cist (the subject of a separate scheduling) is surrounded by the remains of its mound, and is in a similar position below the Cefn Track. Both command impressive views, and it is likely that others await discovery along the ridge. The track, which may itself have prehistoric origins, is also the parish boundary, and these monuments may have acted as territorial markers, defining ancient land divisions which have been preserved to the present day.

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: 27501

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Robinson, R S G, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club' in Notes on Bronze Age settlements on Abbey Farm, Craswall, (1950), 112-17
Robinson, R S G, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club' in Notes on Bronze Age settlements on Abbey Farm, Craswall, (1950), 115
SO 23 NE 11, Ordnance Survey, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, (1970)

End of official listing