Three bowl barrows, known as Emma's Grove round barrows


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017079

Date first listed: 25-Oct-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Nov-1999


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows, known as Emma's Grove round barrows
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Coberley

National Grid Reference: SO 93486 15948


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 the mounds of the three barrows known as Emma's Grove round barrows have been disturbed, they survive well and will contain evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with grave goods, which will provide information about prehistoric funerary practices and about the size of the local community at that time. The barrow mounds will also preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface, predating the construction of the barrows and giving an insight into the landscape in which the monument was set. 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. The sequential construction of the barrows will provide an insight into changes in burial rituals and construction techniques over time. The open areas between the barrows are also significant as they will contain satellite burials, grave goods and other artefacts connected with the construction of the barrows, which will provide information about the monument's role within prehistoric society.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows, known as Emma's Grove round barrows, situated below the crest of a hill in the Cotswolds. The southern barrow is the largest, having a mound which measures 32m in diameter, and which is 4.2m high on its western side and 2m high on the east. In the centre of the mound is a large depression about 9m in diameter and 1.2m deep, which is thought to be the result of unrecorded excavation in the past. Surrounding the mound is a ditch up to 4m wide and 1m deep, from which material was excavated during the construction of the barrow. To the north west of the large barrow mound is a second mound, measuring 10m in diameter and 0.6m in height. A third barrow is situated 25m to the north east. This mound measures 12m in diameter and is about 1m high. These two smaller barrows also have depressions in the centre of their mounds which are considered to be the result of unrecorded excavation. Surrounding each of the smaller mounds are ditches from which material was excavated during the construction of the barrows. These ditches are no longer visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features about 2m wide. The three barrows appear to represent at least two phases of construction, with the two smaller barrows predating the larger barrow.

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: 32381

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 109

End of official listing