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Two bowl barrows on Galley Hill, 880m north east of the golf course club house

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: Two bowl barrows on Galley Hill, 880m north east of the golf course club house

List entry Number: 1015591

Location

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

County:

District: Central Bedfordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Streatley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Jul-1997

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27195

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

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.

The two barrows on the north west side of Galley Hill survive well and will retain significant archaeological information. The mounds, and the areas which they overlie, will contain burials and other deposits related to their construction and attendant ritual activity, and will provide evidence for the duration, or repetitive nature, of their use. The area between the barrows is of particular interest, since excavations at comparable sites have demonstrated the likelihood of further burials in such locations. These barrows form part of a particularly interesting distribution of funerary monuments which follows the Chiltern Ridge from Buckinghamshire to Hertfordshire, and includes the well known Five Knolls barrow cemetery near Dunstable, which is visible from Galley Hill. The study of these sites will provide valuable information regarding the continuity and evolution of prehistoric funerary practices in the area, and contribute to research into the distribution of prehistoric settlement.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two small Bronze Age barrows located on the north west facing slope at the tip of Galley Hill, a large promontory of the middle chalk to the north of Luton. The barrows are placed to command wide views (or to be widely visible) across the Chiltern plateau which rises from the escarpment at Barton Le Clay some 2.5km to the north, and to overlook the Icknield Way (a prehistoric trackway which skirts the foot of the hill). The barrows are separated by a distance of c.14m. The south eastern barrow is circular in plan, measuring approximately 12m in diameter and 1.2m in height, extending out in a slightly domed profile from the slope. The north western barrow is less clearly defined, measuring c.11m across and 0.6m high. Neither barrow retains any trace of a surrounding ditch, and both mounds are thought to have been constructed in the same manner as a similar pair (not included in the scheduling) located on the summit of the hill some 100m to the south. These were fully excavated in 1961-2 when it was found that the central graves had been covered with turves and soil stripped from the surrounding hillside. The larger of these two barrows was adapted for further burials later in the Bronze Age, and saw extensive reuse in both in the late Roman periods, when 18 burials were inserted in the barrow, and in the medieval period, when the mound may well have supported a gallows (hence Galley Hill). Six probable victims of execution were interred in shallow graves on the west side of the mound. There are no indications of excavation at the two barrows on the northern slope of Galley Hill.

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

Books and journals
Dyer, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1961), 1-24
Dyer, J, 'Beds Arch Journal' in Excavation of Two Barrows on Galley Hill Streatley, , Vol. 9, (1974), 13-33
Dyer, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1961), 1-24
Stevenson, M, 'Herts Arch J.' in Bronze Age Funerary Deposits in the Royston Area, , Vol. 9, (1986), 8-14
Other
Herts SMR entries, 4152-3 Bowl Barrows in Turlhangers Wood, Aldbury,
Herts SMR entry, 4152-3 barrows in Turlhanger Wood, Albury,
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27133, Went, D, Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill, (1995)
MPP schedule entry 27194, Went, D, Bowl Barrow 540m South East of Dairy Farm, (1996)
MPP schedule entry 27194, Went, D, Bowl Barrow 540m South East of Dairy Farm, (1996)

National Grid Reference: TL 09194 27111

Map

Map
© 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.
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This copy shows the entry on 25-Jun-2018 at 07:09:38.

End of official listing