Bowl barrow 750m north west of Wood Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017336

Date first listed: 07-May-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Feb-2000


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 750m north west of Wood Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cheltenham (District Authority)

Parish: Charlton Kings

National Grid Reference: SO 99054 21657


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.

The bowl barrow 750m north west of Wood Farm survives well, despite partial excavation during the early 20th century. The barrow mound will contain evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with grave goods, which provide information about prehistoric funerary practices and the size of the local community at that time. The mound will also preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface, predating the construction of the barrow and giving an insight into the landscape in which the monument was set. In addition the mound and surrounding ditch will also contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains, which will relate both to the barrow and the wider landscape.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated just below the crest of a hill in the Cotswolds with views to the west and north west. The barrow mound measures about 12m in diameter and is 1.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was excavated during the construction of the barrow. This is no longer visible at ground level, but will survive as a buried feature about 2m wide. The first record of the barrow dates to 1625 when a juror's report on the manor of Cheltenham noted `the stones of Northfield Hill' as one of the boundary markers of the manor. The barrow mound was partially excavated in 1912 by H C Hill, at which time it was about 3.5m high and 12m in diameter. The large depression in the centre of the barrow is thought to result from this excavation. The barrow was found to have been systematically constructed from alternate layers of stone and earth, with three primary burials lying in separate stone cists about 1.8m from the top of the mound. The burials included the remains of two adults and a child which were associated with a number of grave goods including a flint knife, a flint saw, a whetstone, a crystal and a polished white pebble. A secondary burial was found to have been dug into the side of the mound. Considerable evidence for burning was found on the original ground surface. A few bones from the three primary burials were retained as samples, and the site was covered over with rubble `for the purpose of preservation'. The post and wire fence is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 32347

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hill, H C, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in Northfield Tumulus, Cheltenham, , Vol. LII, (1930), 305-308
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 106

End of official listing