Bowl barrow 250m south east of Gew


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 250m south east of Gew
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SW 79497 42222

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 barrow 250m south east of Gew survives reasonably well, the rounded profile of its mound being clearly visible despite the limited excavation on its top, and the damage to its east side. It remains substantially intact, as will the underlying old land surface and any surviving original deposits associated with the mound and old land surface. The quartz capping of the mound is a rare feature illustrating one aspect of the diversity of prehistoric burial rites, and the situation of the barrow in a wider ridge top barrow cemetery demonstrates the important role of topography in Bronze Age funerary activity.


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, situated on a saddle of a ridge north of Carnon Downs. The barrow's mound is sub-circular in plan, approximately 16.6m across north-south, by 15.2m east-west, and is 2.6m high. Its fabric is mostly earth, with a capping of quartz stones set in or near the surface. On the west, the mound has a regular bowl type profile. On the east the mound has been damaged by ploughing, so that this side slopes unevenly down to its edge from a scarp 1.3m deep cut roughly north-south across the centre of the barrow. On the top of the mound is a hollow 5.7m across and 0.5m deep, probably an antiquarian excavation or robbing trench, which is cut by the machine-dug scarp across the barrow. This barrow is associated with other barrows situated along the ridge to both the north west and south east, together forming a wider ridge top barrow cemetery.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Parochial Antiquities, (1920), 130,139
MacLauchlan, H, 'The Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Report of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, , Vol. 29, (1847)
Jasper, J to Preston-Jones, A, (1988)
Title: Kea Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 3352
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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

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