Three bowl barrows 750m south east of Westmeston Farm, forming part of Western Brow round barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014636

Date first listed: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows 750m south east of Westmeston Farm, forming part of Western Brow round barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Westmeston

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 34243 12854


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow and date from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. Most examples were constructed in the period 2400-1500 BC. They occur across most of lowland Britain and, although superficially similar in appearance, exhibit regional variations of form and a diversity of burial practices. The three bowl barrows 750m south east of Westmeston Farm on Western Brow survive comparatively well and, despite some footpath erosion, will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the period in which they were constructed and used.


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


The monument includes a group of three bowl barrows forming part of Western Brow prehistoric linear round barrow cemetery, which runs from west to east along a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The largest barrow lies to the south west and has a circular mound c.10m in diameter and c.0.5m high, surrounded by 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. Lying c.1m to the north is the smallest barrow of the group which has a circular mound c.5m in diameter and c.0.3m high, surrounded by a buried quarry ditch c.2m wide. The third barrow lies c.10m to the south east and has a mound which has been partly disturbed and bisected by the South Downs Way, a long distance footpath running along the ridge at this point. The originally circular mound now has the appearance of a north-south aligned figure-of-eight measuring c.10m by c.7m, surviving to a height of c.0.4m. It will be associated with a buried quarry ditch c.2m wide.

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: 27054

Legacy System: RSM


source 2, RCHME, TQ 31 SW 23, (1934)

End of official listing