Round barrow cemetery at Heath Brow, Ewshot
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1016891
Date first listed: 23-Nov-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 25-Nov-1999
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Hart (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 82087 49378, SU 82168 49386, SU 82214 49313
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 round barrow cemetery at Heath Brow, Ewshot, survives comparatively well despite some disturbance caused by later excavation and its modern use for military defensive and training purposes. Examination of trenches caused by this disturbance has indicated that the monument retains archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The World War II pillbox located on the monument also survives well and retains archaeological potential. It forms part of a range of World War II anti-invasion defences, including roadblocks and anti-tank obstacles, most of which were constructed by the army's Home Forces over a short period in the summer of 1940 as a series of strategically positioned stop-lines aimed at hindering what was believed to be an imminent German invasion.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes a round
barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic or Bronze Age date situated at Heath Brow,
Ewshot, centred 150m north east of the intersection of the A287 and the B3013
on Bricksbury Hill, a gravel and sand plateau which straddles the joint county
boundary of Hampshire and Surrey. The monument is prominently located on a
slight rise at the narrow, western end of the hill, around which the ground
drops relatively steeply to the south, west and north east. Bricksbury Hill is
also the site of earlier Mesolithic flintworking floors and later World War II
pill boxes and anti-tank defences, some of which are included in the
scheduling. Caesar's Camp Iron Age hillfort lies approximately 1.5km to the
The round barrow cemetery includes seven bowl barrows arranged in two
alignments. The most prominent of these is a rough alignmemt of four closely
spaced bowl barrows extending north-south for approximately 44m parallel to
the B3013 (Beaconhill Road), which lies 40m to the west. The most northerly
barrow of this group is the largest and includes a circular mound, 17m in
diameter and 1.1m high. The remaining three barrows include circular mounds,
ranging from 6.5m to 10m in diameter and from 0.7m to 1m in height. The second
group includes three widely spaced bowl barrows arranged over a distance of
120m along a rough north west-south east alignment, 100m to the east. They
include circular or slightly oval shaped mounds, ranging from 15m to 18m in
diameter and raised 0.6m to 1.25m in height. None of the barrows in either
alignment includes any trace of a surrounding ditch, although shallow quarry
ditches from which material was obtained for the barrows' construction are
likely to survive as buried features around each mound. Further elements of
the round barrow cemetery, including flat graves and urnfields, are also
likely to survive as buried features between the barrows.
All of the barrows have been hollowed or cut as a result of later excavation
and/or by modern military defensive structures and slit trenches. Examination
of these trenches in 1976 indicated that most of the mounds were constructed
of horizontal layers of turves intermixed with sand, which in two cases
overlay well defined horizons of flint nodules, possibly earlier Mesolithic
flintworking floors or low cairns over primary burials. Most seriously
affected is the northern barrow of the western alignment where a World War II
pillbox has been constructed in a pit set 1.2m into the centre of the mound.
The pit has been excavated roughly to the original ground surface and spoil
has been spread around the sides of the mound to a depth of 0.4m, widening the
barrow approximately 2m all around. The trenches and pits cut through the
remaining barrows were backfilled after a forest fire swept through the area
in 1976. As a result, the profiles of the mounds were substantially altered,
raising the height of most by between 0.2m and 0.4m, and creating a series of
irregular humps and hollows in the surrounding ground.
The pillbox located on the monument is a pentagonal brick and cement structure
with a door on the north side. A concrete drain projects down the barrow slope
to the south. It forms part of a series of World War II defensive structures
on Bricksbury Hill which form part of an east-west stop-line intended to
hinder invasion from the south coast.
A radio mast erected on the pill box and Ministry of Defence stars and
associated posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the pill box and
ground beneath it is included. A second pillbox situated approximately 25m
north of the monument is not included in the scheduling.
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: 31177
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Oakley, K P, Rankine, W F, Lowther, A W G, A Survey of the Prehistory of the Farnham District, (1939), 115ff
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1940), 348
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 216
Riall, N, 'Hampshire Field Club Section Newsletter' in A Barrow Group at Heath Brow, Ewshott, Hampshire, , Vol. 3, (1985), 16-17
Riall, N, 'Hampshire Field Club Newsletter' in Notes from Aldershot, , Vol. 1, (1983), 5
Aldershot Military Historical Trust Defence Line Survey,
Dobinson, Colin, Twentieth-century fortifications in England: the MPP approach, Monuments of war, (1998)
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.
End of official listing