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High Street Green Roman barrow

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: High Street Green Roman barrow

List entry Number: 1015578

Location

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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum

District Type: District Authority

Parish:

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Aug-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Dec-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27901

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

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.

The High Street Green Roman barrow stands as a substantial earthwork mound clearly visible from the adjacent highway. The surrounding urban development has made little impact on the monument and, although it has been slightly disturbed by past investigation, it remains largely intact.

Valuable archaeological evidence, including funerary remains, will survive within the mound and the fills of the encircling ditch, containing information relating to the dating and period of use of the barrow, the method of its construction and the mortuary rituals of its builders. Environmental evidence preserved in the same features and on the old ground surface beneath the mound may illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a well preserved Roman barrow situated within an area of urban development immediately to the west of High Street Green, some 100m south of its junction with Queensway and Redbourn Road in Hemel Hempstead. The barrow mound, which is slightly oval in shape, measures c.20m north-south and 24m east-west, standing to a height of 1.8m. A roughly circular depression in the summit of the mound is approximately 1m deep and c.4.5m across, and indicates that limited investigation of the monument occured although no records survive. The encircling ditch from which the mound was quarried is now partly infilled but slight traces can be seen particularly on the south and east sides.

The barrow is considered to have been constructed during the period of the Roman occupation of Britain, an interpretation strengthened by the discovery of a number of significant Roman sites in the area, including the substantial villa in Gadebridge Park, some 2.2km to the west, and the extensive temple complex at Wood Lane End, c.1.25km to the south east. Both these monuments are the subject of separate schedulings.

Burial mounds of this period were often placed alongside roads. The monument was formerly surrounded by open countryside, in a commanding position at the western end of a prominent ridge, a location no doubt chosen for its close proximity to the Roman road now overlain by High Street Green.

The railings and posts enclosing the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Neal, S, 'Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries' in The Excavation of the Roman Villa in Gadebridge Park 1963-8, , Vol. XXX1, (1974), 2-3
Other
text, C F Wardale, (1962)

National Grid Reference: TL 07163 08454

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1015578 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Nov-2017 at 04:06:12.

End of official listing