The Four Burrows


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016054

Date first listed: 08-Jan-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of The Four Burrows
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kenwyn

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Perranzabuloe

National Grid Reference: SW 76124 48268, SW 76143 48234, SW 76192 48226


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.

Although at least two of them have been disturbed by part excavation, the barrows at Four Burrows are well preserved examples which will retain many of their original features providing information about the monument and the landscape in which it was built.


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


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a group of four Bronze Age bowl barrows situated on a commanding hilltop at Four Burrows, about 350m north west of Fourburrow Farm. The barrows straddle the parish boundary between Kenwyn and Perranzabuloe with two barrows lying either side of the boundary. The four barrows vary between 16m and 24m in diameter, and between 2.5m and 3.9m high. Two of the mounds have central circular depressions which indicate antiquarian excavation. The barrows may represent the surviving core of a nucleated round barrow cemetery. The Bronze Age date of the group is confirmed by the discovery in one of the barrows of a megalithic chambered structure containing an inurned cremation. The concrete trig point on the barrow west of the entrance to Fourburrow Farm is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 29602

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, (1963), 67
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, (1963), 67
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Kenwyn, , Vol. 4, (1965), 76
Borden, (1984)

End of official listing