Five bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016765

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Five bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Eastleach

National Grid Reference: SP 18787 08550


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.

The bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm are reasonably well preserved, although the two barrows which lie in the field to the north have been spread by the plough. The mounds of all of the barrows will contain evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with grave goods, which will provide information about the way prehistoric peoples buried their dead and the size of local communities at that time. The mounds will also preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface, predating the construction of the barrows and giving insight into the landcape in which the monument was set. The open areas between the barrow mounds will also contain evidence in the form of satellite burials and grave goods which will relate to the material in the mounds. The mounds and their surrounding ditches will also contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains, which will relate both to the barrows and the landscape within which they were constructed.


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


The monument includes five bowl barrows forming a small round barrow cemetery sited on a gentle south-facing slope, and aligned roughly north-south. The southern barrow is the largest of the group, with a mound measuring 24m in diameter and 1m in height composed of small limestone slabs. Part of a surrounding ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, is visible to the west of the mound, and the remainder of the circuit will survive as a buried feature, about 2m wide. To the north is a second, slightly oval barrow mound measuring 17.5m north-south, 19.5m east- west and about 1m in height. There is no visible evidence for a surrounding ditch, although this will survive as a buried feature, also about 2m wide. To the north of this is a third barrow mound which is also slightly oval in shape. The mound measures 18m north-south, 22m east-west and 1m in height. There is no evidence for a surrounding ditch at ground level, but it survives as a buried feature about 2m wide, extending into the field to the north, and is visible on aerial photographs. This mound has a small depression in the centre, probably caused by a fallen tree. Immediately to the south west of the centre of the mound, an upright slab of stone is visible, rising 0.5m above the surrounding ground surface, which may have formed part of the internal structure of the barrow. The northernmost barrow has a mound measuring 32m in diameter and approximately 0.3m in height. The mound of this barrow is also surrounded by a ditch from which material was excavated during its construction. This ditch is no longer visible at ground level, but will survive as a buried feature about 3m wide. To the east of this barrow mound, aerial photographs show a circular cropmark of enhanced plant growth over buried archaeological features which indicates the existence of a ditch, marking the site of a further barrow. The barrow mound has been reduced by cultivation, but the surrounding ditch survives as a buried feature enclosing an area 30m in diameter. This group is thought to be part of the `Seven Barrows' named in this area on Isaac Taylor's map of Gloucestershire of 1786. All dry stone walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 32332

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Iron Age and Roman Monuments in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, (1976), 52
SP 1808/2, RCHME, (1971)
SP1808/2, RCHME, (1971)

End of official listing