Bowl barrow 250m north west of Pin Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 250m north west of Pin Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Forest Heath (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 72397 67264

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 bowl barrow to the north west of Pin Farm has undergone partial excavation, less than half of the total area of the mound and only a very small proportion of the ditch has been disturbed by this, and the remainder survives well. The monument will retain further information concerning the construction of the barrow and the manner and duration of its use, in addition to the evidence recovered from the 1973 investigation. Evidence for the local environment prior to and during that time will also be preserved in soils buried beneath the unexcavated mound and in the fills of the ditch. The proximity of the barrow to a number of other barrows in this part of the Breckland region give it additional interest. Together these barrows give some evidence of the character, development and density of the prehistoric population in this area.


The monument includes a bowl barrow and is located in the north east corner of a modern field, approximately 300m north of the prehistoric trackway known as the Icknield Way. The barrow is visible as an earthen mound, stands to a height of approximately 0.4m and has a diameter of about 30m. Parts of the barrow were investigated in 1969 by F Petersen who dug a complete cross section through the mound, excavating a large area of the centre, together with stretches of the encircling ditch. The ditch was shown to be up to 4.85m wide and 1.8m deep. The mound was discovered to be made up of an inner core of sand capped by an outer layer of gravel, suggesting that it was created from spoil derived from the ditch. The centre of the mound had been cut through by a previous robber trench which had disturbed both the central burial and several other inhumation and cremation burials. What remained of the central burial included fragments of human bone, sherds of pottery and a single amber bead. In the vicinity of the grave were piles of human bone, relating to at least six individuals. Undisturbed peripheral burials in the south east quadrant of the mound consisted of four inhumations and seven cremations. The layout of these periphal burials, in an arc around the edge of the mound, suggested a small organised cemetery, perhaps used by a single community for a comparatively limited period of time.

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.

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Books and journals
Petersen, F, 'The Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology' in The Excavation Of An Early Bronze Age Cemetery At Pin Farm, Gazeley, , Vol. 33, (1973), 19-46


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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