Group of three bowl barrows and an Anglo-Saxon mixed cemetery on Summer Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014952

Date first listed: 27-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Oct-1996


Ordnance survey map of Group of three bowl barrows and an Anglo-Saxon mixed cemetery on Summer Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 - 1014952 .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 14-Dec-2018 at 19:06:35.


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

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)

Parish: Newtimber

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 26992 11087


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.

Beginning in the fifth century AD, there is evidence from distinctive burials and cemeteries, new settlements and new forms of pottery and metalwork, of the immigration into Britain of settlers from northern Europe, bringing with them new religious beliefs. Although some earlier Roman settlements and cemeteries continued in use, the native Britons rapidly adopted many of the cultural practices of the new settlers and it soon becomes difficult to distinguish them in the archaeological record. Pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries date to the years before the adoption of Christianity during the late sixth and seventh centuries AD. Burial practices included both inhumation and cremation, with the predominant inhumation ritual involving burial, occasionally in coffins, within a rectangular pit. Cremation burials saw the placing of previously burnt remains in containers, usually pottery urns, which were then buried in small pits. The bodies were often accompanied by grave goods, including jewellery and weapons, and sometimes by the remains of animals. Cemeteries vary in size, the largest being known to contain several thousand burials, and some examples were in use for up to 300 years. Anglo-Saxon cemeteries represent one of our principal sources of archaeological evidence for the early Anglo-Saxon period, providing information about population, social structure and ideology. All surviving examples, other than those which have been heavily disturbed, are considered worthy of protection. The bowl barrows and Anglo-Saxon cemetery on Summer Down survive well, despite some disturbance by later road building and quarrying, which has uncovered archaeological remains relating to the construction and use of the monument. The later reuse of two of the barrows as post mill mounds corroborates documentary evidence which suggests that many windmills were sited in this area of downland during the medieval and post-medieval periods.


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


The monument includes a north east-south west aligned linear group of three prehistoric bowl barrows and a later Anglo-Saxon cremation and inhumation cemetery, situated on a chalk spur which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The north easternmost barrow of the group has a roughly circular mound c.11.5m in diameter and up to 0.6m high. The mound has a central, cross-shaped depression representing the cross timbers of a later post mill which utilised the earlier barrow. The mound is flanked on its south western side by a ditch up to 2m wide and c.0.3m deep, resulting from the rotation of the wheeled pole by which the direction of the windmill was controlled. Situated around 24m to the south west, the central barrow of the group has a mound c.23.5m in diameter and up to 1.2m high. This also shows signs of reuse as a post mill in the form of a cruciform depression and flanking by a south westerly ditch. The south westernmost barrow lies a further c.38m along the ridge and has a circular mound c.16m in diameter and c.1.3m high, surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature c.2m wide. The later cemetery was indicated by the discovery in 1912 of two human cremations contained within pottery urns in the face of the modern chalk pit which lies between the two south westernmost barrows. These have been dated to the early Anglo-Saxon period (c.AD 450-AD 700). Records also suggest that the construction of the modern road on the north western edge of the monument during the early years of the 20th century uncovered at least one Anglo-Saxon inhumation burial accompanied by an iron spearhead. Further contemporary burials will survive in the areas between and around the earlier barrows. The surface of the modern road, the fences and gates and the modern roadside banks which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 27079

Legacy System: RSM


ref 3, RCHME, TQ 21 SE 10, (1934)

End of official listing