Abra Barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017904

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Abra Barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)

Parish: Overton

National Grid Reference: SU 50296 47363


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 Abra Barrow survives comparatively well despite some later disturbance. It can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to its original construction and use. Its close association with other round barrows located on Southley and neighbouring farms indicates the importance of the surrounding chalkland as an area of Bronze Age ritual activity.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the crest of a low chalk ridge running in an east-west direction across Southley Farm. It commands a prominent position overlooking lower lying ground to the north, south and west. The barrow, known as Abra Barrow, is roughly circular and includes a central mound, about 1.8m high enclosed to the south east by an infilled ditch, up to 0.15m deep. The barrow has been spread and clipped by ploughing, and by the construction of farm lanes around the base, to give it a squared off appearance. Aerial photographs indicate that the infilled ditch continues around the barrow on the south and east sides. A round barrow situated beneath the hedgerow approximately 50m to the south has now been levelled, while a ring ditch, indicated by aerial photography 100m to the south east, remains faintly visible as a cropmark. The modern fence which flanks the monument to the west 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 31167

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 28 30

End of official listing