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Bell barrow in Graffridge Wood, 400m south east of Keepers Cottage

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Bell barrow in Graffridge Wood, 400m south east of Keepers Cottage

List entry Number: 1015487


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Knebworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Mar-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27907

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The bell barrow in Graffridge Wood survives as a substantial and impressive example of this rare class of monument. Although it may have been somewhat disturbed by excavation, valuable archaeological deposits, including funerary remains, will survive within the mound, berm and ditch and will provide evidence for the date, method of construction, duration of use and ritual beliefs of the barrow builders. Environmental evidence preserved within the same features will help to illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set. The monument is situated some 250m south east of a Bronze Age bowl barrow and a Roman burial mound, the subjects of a separate scheduling (27906), indicating the continuing ritual significance of the area from the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a substantial Bronze Age bell barrow situated in Graffridge Wood, 400m south east of Keepers Cottage. The circular barrow mound is c.25m in diameter and approximately 2.5m high. The berm (platform) on which the mound stands is some 31m wide, sloping slightly down to the encircling ditch. Upcast from this ditch would have been used in the construction of the mound. Although the ditch is partly infilled, it can still be traced as a shallow depression c.0.4m deep and 4m wide. The mound is rounded with a depression some 3m deep in the summit. While this may have resulted from a limited archaeological investigation, probably during the 19th century, no records of this have been traced. It is possible that this depression and a smaller one next to it were caused by the uprooting of trees.

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.

Selected Sources

Hearsay Report, Morris, J, Ordnance Survey Antiquity Model Record Card, (1958)

National Grid Reference: TL 21475 20868


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015487 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 11:43:53.

End of official listing