Roman barrow at Broomershill, 200m south east of Brocks Rew Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015233

Date first listed: 19-Jun-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of Roman barrow at Broomershill, 200m south east of Brocks Rew Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: Pulborough

National Grid Reference: TQ 06617 18993


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

Reasons for Designation

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples. They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were re-used when secondary Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are identified as nationally important.

Despite some disturbance by past ploughing, the Roman barrow at Broomershill survives comparatively well, and part excavation has shown that it contains archaeological information relating to the construction and original purpose of the monument. The barrow lies in the hinterland of Chichester, within which cluster many broadly contemporary Roman settlements, buildings and associated remains, including an early Roman villa at Borough Farm around 1.1km to the north east. The monument provides important evidence for the burial rites associated with the death of one of the more wealthy members of this well- populated, Romanised community.


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


The monument includes a barrow constructed during the Roman period, situated on the southern slope of a sandstone hill which forms part of the Sussex Weald. The barrow lies around 170m east of a north-south aligned, minor Roman road between Codmore Hill and Marehill which joins Stane Street, the main Roman road between Chichester (Noviomagus) and London (Londinium), around 2km to the north. The barrow has been partly levelled by past ploughing and survives as a low, circular mound c.19m in diameter and 0.2m high. Excavations in 1815 and 1817 revealed the mound to have been constructed over a circular chamber, surviving in the form of buried, mortared-brick footings c.3.5m thick. Blocks of squared tufa originating from Italy were also used in the construction of the barrow. The mound is likely to be surrounded by a now infilled construction ditch up to 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: 29238

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Martin, J, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Stane Street Causeway, (1859), 141-142
Martin, J, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Stane Street Causeway, (1859), 141

End of official listing