Moor Farm bowl barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015010

Date first listed: 08-Jun-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Moor Farm bowl barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: East Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Fordham

National Grid Reference: TL 62110 73347


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.

The bowl barrow to the north east of Moor Farm survives well. The mound will contain undisturbed archaeological evidence illustrating the method of construction, the date and duration of the monument's use, and the character of early burial practices. The old ground surface beneath the mound, together with the silts of the surrounding ditch, will provide important environmental evidence, illustrating the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set and contributing to the wider study of prehistoric land use on the margins of the fen.


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


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow located 90m to the north east of Moor Farm, near the tip of a low spur of land flanked by old water courses to the east and west. To the north, the ground descends gently towards the southern edge of Soham Fen and the course of the now extinct River Snail. The barrow mound stands in pasture and measures 24m in diameter and 0.8m high. Slight variations in vegetation around the foot of the mound are thought to indicate the presence of a buried ditch, from which material would have been quarried for its construction. The barrow is unexcavated, although the surrounding area has produced considerable evidence for prehistoric activity across the margins of the fen. Large numbers of flint tools, working flakes and fire-cracked flints were recovered during recent fieldwork along the course of the River Snail, indicating extensive activity during the Neolithic period (c.3500-2000 BC). The Moor Farm barrow demonstrates continuing activity into the Bronze Age, activity which is also reflected by the discovery of barbed and tanged flint arrowheads in the vicinity and, most notably, by the discovery of the largest metalwork hoard in western Europe at Chalk Farm, 1km to the east, in 1959.

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: 27168

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Malim, T, Archaeology on the Cambridgeshire County Farms Estate, (1990), 47
Gdaniec, K, 'Fenland Research' in Drawing Lines through Sites: the Isleham-Ely Water Pipeline, , Vol. 8, (1993), 20-25

End of official listing