Group of six bowl barrows 790m south west of Grey Friars Farm: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on Kithurst Hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Group of six bowl barrows 790m south west of Grey Friars Farm: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on Kithurst Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Sussex
Horsham (District Authority)
Storrington and Sullington
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TQ 07856 12543

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 and comprise hemispherical, sometimes ditched earthen or rubble mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most examples were constructed during the Early Bronze Age, between 2400-1500 BC. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. The six bowl barrows 790m south west of Grey Friars Farm survive comparatively well, despite some disturbance by unrecorded antiquarian excavation, and will retain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the cemetery. The barrows form part of a dispersed group of broadly contemporary monuments situated along the ridge, providing important evidence for the relationship between burial practices, settlement and land division during the later prehistoric period.


The monument includes a group of six, closely spaced bowl barrows situated on a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The barrows are part of a group of 13 constructed along this part of the ridge, forming a dispersed, linear round barrow cemetery. The barrows have roughly circular mounds measuring between 6m-11m in diameter and surviving to heights of up to 1m. The mounds have central hollows, indicating antiquarian investigation during the 18th or 19th centuries, and will be surrounded by ditches from which material used to construct the barrows was excavated. These have become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features up to 2m wide. The land between the barrows is likely to contain unmarked contemporary or later burials, although these areas have been partly disturbed by World War II army training activities.

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.


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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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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