Besbury Lane bowl barrow, 450m north east of Conduit Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015324
Date first listed: 22-Mar-1949
Date of most recent amendment: 19-Nov-1996
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 21:41:27.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 29558 25025
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
Despite reduction of the southern side of the mound due to cultivation in the past, the Besbury Lane bowl barrow survives as a good example of its class and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. The barrow may have been reused for burial in the early medieval period.
The monument includes an upstanding Bronze Age bowl barrow known locally as
the Besbury Lane barrow situated immediately south of Besbury Lane, 450m north
east of Conduit Farm. The barrow sits on a false crest with views overlooking
slight valleys to the south and west.
The barrow mound, which was planted with trees to create a landscape feature
in the last century, measures 27m in diameter from east-west and stands up to
2.7m high. From north-south its original diameter has been reduced to about
20m by cultivation over time. Its top is roughly level and has a diameter of
9m. There are two slight features cut into this which might represent part
excavation but are more probably collapsed badger tunnels.
Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was obtained
during its construction. The ditch measures about 3m wide and survives as an
infilled feature to the south and around the remainder of the circuit as a
partly infilled feature visible as a c.0.3m deep depression.
The mound is very stony and there is a relatively modern dry stone wall
revetting part of the mound. Its size and flat top suggest that the barrow may
have been reused for burials in the early medieval period.
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: 28151
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Mudd, A, Round Barrows of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, (1983)
PRN 2291, C.A.O., Besbury Lane Round Barrow, (1995)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SP 22 NE
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing