Bowl barrow in Aldbury Nowers wood, 280m south east of Northfield Grange


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018209

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Aldbury Nowers wood, 280m south east of Northfield Grange
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum (District Authority)

Parish: Aldbury

National Grid Reference: SP 95147 13357


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 bowl barrow lying 280m south east of Northfield Grange survives well and will retain significant archaeological information. The mound, and the area which it overlies, will contain burials and other deposits related to its construction and attendant ritual activity, and provide evidence for the duration, or repetitive nature, of its use. This barrow (and its neighbour to the south west) forms part of a particularly interesting distribution of funerary monuments following the Chiltern Ridge through Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The study of these sites will provide valuable information regarding the continuity and evolution of prehistoric funerary practices in the area, and contribute to our understanding of prehistoric land use and settlement patterns in the region.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric bowl barrow located on the crest of a wooded slope below Aldbury Nowers, occupying an elevated position on the Chiltern scarp looking out to the west over the upper reaches of the Bulbourne Valley and the Aylesbury Vale beyond. The barrow mound is circular in plan and slightly domed in profile, measuring approximately 13m in diameter and 0.9m high. In the absence of evidence for a surrounding quarry ditch, the mound is thought to have been of 'scraped' construction, using turf and earth gathered from its surroundings. This method is known to have been widely used across the Chiltern Hills. A second barrow, similar in appearance, is sited lower down the ridge, some 140m to the south west and is the subject of separate scheduling.

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: 27197

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Davis, J, 'Records of Buckinghamshire' in Grim's Ditch In Buckinghamshire And Hertfordshire, , Vol. 23, (1981), 23-31
Dyer, J, 'Antiquity' in The Chiltern Grim's Ditch, , Vol. XXXVII, (1963), 46-9
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, , Vol. 116, (1959)
1:2500, Ordnance Survey, SP 9412-9512, (1974)
SMR data entry, 4151 Round barrow in Turlhanger's Wood,

End of official listing