Bowl barrow 550m south-east of Dairy Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015590

Date first listed: 11-Jul-1997

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Jan-2012

Location Description: Site centred at NGR TL1140550761


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 550m south-east of Dairy Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1015590 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 20:35:10.


Location Description: Site centred at NGR TL1140550761

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

District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Renhold

National Grid Reference: TL1140550761


The monument includes the buried remains of a bowl barrow located on the low lying gravel terrace on the north side of the Gadsey Brook, at Dairy Farm, Willington.

Reasons for Designation

The bowl barrow 550m to the south-east of Dairy Farm at Willington is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: Although the barrow has been reduced by ploughing, its ditch fills and features beneath the mound are known to survive.

* Potential: The surviving archaeological features and deposits will retain valuable archaeological information, as will features beneath the mound. The study of this site and the others with which it is associated will contribute valuable information regarding the continuity of land use, the evolution of prehistoric funerary practices and the distribution of settlement in the area.

* Diversity: The monument is also part of a widespread distribution of similar features which follow the gravel terraces of the River Great Ouse, the recent mapping of which has greatly enhanced our understanding of the nature of the prehistoric landscape. The gravel terraces of the River Great Ouse are known to have provided the focus for burial and ritual activities, as well as settlement, in the Neolithic period and Bronze Age. This bowl barrow forms part of a particularly important group which includes nearby scheduled barrows and henge type monuments (1015586, 1015589 & 1015590) and the larger mortuary complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age scheduled monuments further to the west at Goldington (1011629, 1008510, 1009777, 1007322, 1007324, 1007326, 1007327, 1007329 & 1007331) and separated from this group by an existing gravel quarry.

* Period: Bowl barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. The considerable variation in form and the longevity of the monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities.

* Documentation: The monuments have been subject to non-invasive archaeological intervention which has confirmed their importance. This includes mapping of aerial photographic evidence and geophysical survey.


Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary or ceremonial monuments dating from the Middle Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age. Bowl barrows begin to appear from before 3000 BC but the majority belong to the period 2400 - 1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds and are commonly surrounded by a ring-ditch. Important evidence of earlier activity is often preserved beneath barrow mounds, which may be preceded by a lengthy sequence of construction and use. Many, but not all, covered single or multiple burials or had burials inserted into them. Bowl barrows occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods.

Archaeological studies of the gravel terraces in the Great Ouse Valley have provided considerable evidence for Late Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement and ritual activity. A number of monuments on the terrace have been identified by non-invasive archaeological survey, attesting to an extensive ritual landscape. The bowl barrow 550m south-east of Dairy Farm has been recorded from the air on several occasions since 1970, and its survival and precise location have been established more recently by magnetometer survey.


The monument includes the buried remains of a bowl barrow located on a low lying gravel terrace on the north side of the Gadsey Brook, a tributary of the River Great Ouse which flows into the main river a short distance to the east. The barrow is about 220m to the north of the brook and is part of a complex of prehistoric features.

The barrow has been reduced by ploughing, and the earthwork remains are now barely perceptible. However, aerial photography and geophysical survey allow for the accurate plotting and measurement of the barrow, the diameter of which measures about 12m from the outer edge of the ditch.

This barrow forms part of a complex of prehistoric features, also revealed by aerial photography and confirmed by geophysical survey. These features are the subject of separate schedulings and include a ritual enclosure known as a henge type monument located about 250m to the west (1015586), a henge, henge type monument and bowl barrow approximately 60m to the north east (1015587) and two further barrows about 250m to the north west (1015589).

The scheduling is intended to provide protection for the buried remains of the bowl barrow, including the surrounding ditch and surviving funerary remains buried beneath the ploughed down mound. With the 10m buffer zone the scheduled area forms a circle measuring 32m in diameter.


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

Legacy System number: 27194

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing