Bowl barrow and pond barrow in Mount Ephraim Plantation, 810m north west of Field Barn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015261

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Mar-1997


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow and pond barrow in Mount Ephraim Plantation, 810m north west of Field Barn
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 19:45:14.


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

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland (District Authority)

Parish: Weeting-with-Broomhill

National Grid Reference: TL 77516 91453


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.

Both the bowl barrow and the pond barrow 810m north west of Field Barn survive well. The bowl barrow remains an impressive earthwork, and although the mound is thought to have been the subject of an antiquarian investigation, the area of disturbance will have been small in relation to the monument as a whole, and the mound and the fill of the ditch will retain archaeological information concerning the construction of the barrow, the manner and duration of its use and the local environment at that time. Evidence for earlier land use is also likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound.

The pond barrow is an example of a class of ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and 1000 BC. The term `barrow' is something of a misnomer, as, rather than mounds, they were constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim and, occasionally, an outer ditch or an entrance through the bank. Where excavation has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists, occasionally containing human remains, have usually been discovered within the central depression, whilst at one example, a well-like shaft was revealed. Pond barrows occur singly or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries (closely spaced groups of barrows). The function and role of pond barrows is not fully understood but their close association with other types of barrow, and the limited but repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated examples supports their identification as ceremonial monuments involved in funerary ritual. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow, with about 60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset. As few examples have been excavated they have a particularly high value for future study, with the potential to provide important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst prehistoric communities, and because of their rarity, all identified pond barrows are normally considered to be of national importance. This particular example in Norfolk, surviving outside the main area of known distribution and in direct association with a bowl barrow, is therefore of exceptional interest.

The two barrows lie c.85m to the south west of another bowl barrow, among a group of five aligned on an north east-south west axis over a distance of 1km. They have additional interest in relation to the prehistoric flint mines known as Grimes Graves, which lie c.4km to the south east, and, together with other barrows preserved in this part of the Breckland region, provide evidence for the study of the general character and development of prehistoric settlement in the area.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow and an adjacent pond barrow located to the west of the track known as Pilgrims' Walk, on a slight ridge above a gentle south facing slope overlooking the valley of the Little Ouse River, towards the western side of the Breckland region.

The bowl barrow has an overall diameter of c.36m and is visible as an earthen mound encircled by a ditch. The mound stands to a height of c.2m and covers a circular area with a diameter of c.30m; the surrounding ditch, from which earth was quarried during the construction of the barrow, has become largely infilled but survives as a buried feature, marked by a depression c.3m wide and c.0.25m deep in the ground surface. The pond barrow lies c.1m to the south west of the bowl barrow and is visible as a circular hollow c.0.5m deep and c.17m in diameter, around the rim of which there is an earthen bank c.4m wide at the base and c.0.4m high. In the centre of the hollow is a slight mound c.0.2m high and c.5m in diameter. It is thought that the bowl barrow may have have been one of seven investigated by Lord Rosehill in 1871, when cremation burials were found.

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: 21431

Legacy System: RSM



End of official listing