Round barrow cemetery in Rackham Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015959

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-1997


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery in Rackham Plantation
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 02:01:40.


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

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: Parham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 04667 14646, TQ 04693 14730, TQ 04748 14638, TQ 04836 14655, TQ 04889 14563


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, constructed as bowl-shaped mounds, sometimes ditched, covering single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. The round barrow cemetery in Rackham Plantation survives well, despite some subsequent disturbance by forestry operations, and will retain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original use of the monument.


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


The monument, which falls into five separate areas, includes a round barrow cemetery made up of ten bowl barrows situated on a low sandstone hill in the Sussex Weald 2km to the west of the River Arun. The barrows have bowl-shaped mounds ranging between about 16m-27m in diameter and up to 2m high, encircled by ditches from which material used to construct the barrows was excavated. These have become infilled over the years but will survive as below ground features up to 2m wide. The barrows have been partly disturbed by forestry operations and the southern side of the northernmost barrow has been levelled by a forest track.

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: 29285

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing