Pair of bowl barrows on Thursley Common


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017718

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Pair of bowl barrows on Thursley Common
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Surrey

District: Waverley (District Authority)

Parish: Peper Harow

County: Surrey

District: Waverley (District Authority)

Parish: Thursley

National Grid Reference: SU 90862 40912, SU 91069 40944


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.

Despite some subsequent disturbance, the pair of bowl barrows on Thursley Common survive well. Part excavation has confirmed that they retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the original use of the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes a pair of roughly east-west aligned bowl barrows situated 210m apart on the northern slope of a low, sandstone spur. The barrows lie close to the interface between the drier heathland on which they are situated and an area of low-lying peat bog to the north. Each barrow has a circular mound constructed of sand and turves, measuring around 28m in diameter and up to 2.5m high. The mounds are surrounded by approximately 2m wide ditches from which material used to construct the barrows was excavated. These have become largely infilled over the years, but are represented by a shallow depression visible on the northern side of the eastern barrow. Both barrows show signs of later disturbance mainly caused by the intensive use of Thursley Common for army training during and after World War II. The barrows were partly excavated in 1959 and 1995. The 1995 investigation examined the western barrow and revealed a central, rectangular pit dug into the old land surface beneath the mound. The temporary wooden log-seat situated on the eastern barrow 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: 31381

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Graham, D, 'Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin' in Thursley Common Mounds, , Vol. 298, (1995), 9-10

End of official listing