Bell barrow 220m north west of Priory Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015014

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 220m north west of Priory Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2018 at 07:55:56.


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Shudy Camps

National Grid Reference: TL 62625 44993


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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Although the bell barrow to the north west of Priory Farm has been disturbed, the greater part of the monument has survived intact. Valuable archaeological deposits, including undisturbed funerary remains, will be retained within and beneath the mound and in the fills of the ditch. These will provide information relating to the process of construction and the duration of the barrow's use, and to the rituals and beliefs of the builders of this rare class of monument. The same features will also retain environmental evidence which will illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.


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


The monument includes a Bronze Age bell barrow located on the north side of the road between Mill Green and Priory Farm. The barrow mound has a rounded profile, and measures approximately 12m in diameter and 0.5m high. This stands in the centre of a raised platform (also circular) measuring 18m across and about 0.4m high, which is in turn surrounded by a partly buried ditch, averaging 4m wide and 0.6m deep. The southern part of the ditch's circuit has been truncated by the construction of the adjacent road, and a roadside ditch has removed a narrow segment from the berm (the area between the mound and the ditch) on this side. Otherwise, the only evidence of disturbance is a slight depression in the centre of the mound, thought to have been caused by the removal of a tree.

The scheduling includes a margin, 1m in width, around the surviving length of the barrow ditch which is considered essential for the continued support and protection of the monument. The roadside fence is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the fenceline is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 27172

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fox, C, Archaeology of the Cambridge Region, (1923), 198
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1978), 198

End of official listing