Platform barrow, the north westernmost barrow of a linear round barrow group on Bostal Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014643

Date first listed: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Platform barrow, the north westernmost barrow of a linear round barrow group on Bostal Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Feb-2019 at 19:19:49.


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

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Alciston

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 49557 04910

Reasons for Designation

Platform barrows, funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC), are the rarest of the recognised types of round barrow, with fewer than 50 examples recorded nationally. They occur widely across southern England with a marked concentration in East and West Sussex and can occur either in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of barrows) or singly. They were constructed as low, flat-topped mounds of earth surrounded by a shallow ditch, occasionally crossed by an entrance causeway. None of the known examples stands higher than 1m above ground level, and most are considerably lower than this. Due to their comparative visual insignificance when compared to the larger types of round barrow, few were explored by 19th century antiquarians. As a result, few platform barrows are disturbed by excavation and, consequently, they remain a poorly understood class of monument. Their importance lies in their potential for illustrating the diversity of beliefs and burial practices in the Bronze Age and, due to their extreme rarity and considerable fragility, all identified platform barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Although it has been partly damaged by footpath erosion, the platform barrow on Bostal Hill survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the form and function of the monument. The barrow is part of a linear group of three broadly contemporary round barrows, the other two of which are the subject of separate schedulings. The round barrow group also forms part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery constructed along the downland ridge during the Bronze Age, illustrating the importance of the area for funerary practices during the later prehistoric period.


The monument includes a platform barrow, the north westernmost barrow of a linear group of three round barrows situated along a ridge of the Sussex Downs. This location enjoys panoramic views of the Channel coast to the south and the Weald to the north. The barrow has a slightly raised, circular level area c.16m in diameter and c.0.3m above the surrounding ground, encircled by a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has been partly disturbed over the years by The South Downs Way long distance footpath, which crosses its north eastern side, but survives elsewhere as a depression c.3.5m wide and c.0.2m deep. A low bank which originally surrounded the ditch survives as an earthwork c.1m wide on the south eastern side of the barrow.

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: 27040

Legacy System: RSM


Source 2, RCHME, TQ 40 SE 19, (1930)

End of official listing