Bowl barrow cemetery on Bully Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017878

Date first listed: 20-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow cemetery on Bully Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 10:47:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Tathwell

National Grid Reference: TF 33029 82641, TF 33230 82845


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The barrow cemetery on Bully Hill is an extremely well-preserved example of this class of monument, and is a striking landscape feature clearly visible from the adjacent road.

Only one barrow mound has been noticeably affected by antiquarian excavation and the group as a whole will retain rare, undisturbed and valuable archaeological evidence, including funerary deposits, which will provide information relating to the date and sequence of construction, the period of use and religious beliefs of the barrow builders.

The ground between the barrows of the south western alignment will contain evidence for activities focussed on the barrows during and after their construction.

Features, artefacts and environmental deposits preserved in the old ground surfaces beneath the barrows and within the fills of the buried ditches will further contribute to the archaeological record and may illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.


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


The Bronze Age bowl barrow cemetery on Bully Hill includes seven barrows which survive as substantial, roughly circular earthworks arranged in a line south west to north east, following the rise of the hill. The barrows are protected in two separate areas, the six to the south west being contained together within one area whilst the most northerly barrow, situated towards the summit of Bully Hill, occupies a separate area.

Distances of between 3m and 9m divide the six south western barrow mounds, which form a compact north east to south west alignment. The mounds vary in diameter from 12m to 26m, the two largest being in the centre of the group. With one exception - the third barrow from the south - all stand to an average height of 3m, with sloping sides and rounded summits.

The third barrow from the south is the largest in diameter and may originally have been in excess of 4m high. However, antiquarian excavations have reduced its height to no more than 2m. These excavations have cut into the north western flank of the mound and created a large circular hollow at the centre in an attempt to reach the primary burial. No records of this excavation have been traced and it is not known whether the attempt was successful. The other barrows show no significant signs of disturbance, although the most southerly mound may have been subjected to some very minor excavation.

The seventh barrow is situated some 280m to the north east of the main group. It has a diameter of approximately 16m and is about 3m high with a rounded profile and uneven summit.

There is no visible evidence of any encircling quarry ditches around these mounds, and it is possible that the smaller examples were constructed from earth scraped from the surrounding area, with material for the larger mounds being extracted elsewhere. However, since similar examples elsewhere in the region are known to have ditches, it is thought that the barrows on Bully Hill would have followed this pattern of construction. It is, therefore, believed that the ditches will survive as infilled and buried features beneath the present ground surface.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 29726

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing