Bowl barrow in Dixon's Covert


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018675

Date first listed: 21-Jun-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Feb-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow in Dixon's Covert
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 12:28:22.


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

County: Suffolk

District: St. Edmundsbury (District Authority)

Parish: Culford

National Grid Reference: TL 83016 69620


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 in Dixon's Covert survives well. Although there is evidence for both recorded and unrecorded excavations into the barrow, the area of disturbance is minimal in relation to the monument as a whole which will retain archaeological information concerning its construction and the manner and duration of its use. Evidence for the local environment prior to and during that time will also be preserved, in the upstanding earthwork, in soils buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the partly buried ditch. The proximity of the barrow to a number of other barrows in this part of the Breckland, gives it additional interest. Together these barrows give some evidence of the character, development and density of the prehistoric population in this area.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow in Dixon's Covert, 300m north of the River Lark on former heathland. It is visible as an earthen mound, which stands to a height of about 2.2m and covers a roughly circular area with a maximum diameter of about 40m. Encircling the mound is a ditch, from which the earth was quarried during the construction of the barrow. This has become infilled but survives as a buried feature and is marked on the east side by a slight hollow about 5m wide in the ground surface. The barrow therefore has a maximum overall diameter of 50m.

A 5m wide depression on the south west side of the mound is thought to be the result of military activity between 1916 and 1917. A R Edwardson excavated a trench, about 4m deep, into the west side of the barrow in 1958 and revealed that the mound was constructed of decayed turf. A number of flint flakes and pottery sherds were recovered from the fill of the ditch. He also discovered a pit dug into the centre of the mound, the result of a previously unrecorded excavation, from which a sherd of Bronze Age pottery was recovered.

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: 31115

Legacy System: RSM


Letter from A R Edwardson, 1958, Suffolk Archaeology Unit ref.

End of official listing