Brightwell Barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018722

Date first listed: 26-Oct-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Brightwell Barrow
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Oct-2018 at 18:23:15.


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

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

National Grid Reference: SU 57619 91899


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.

Brightwell Barrow survives as a clearly visible monument despite partial levelling by ploughing and will contain archaeological evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. In addition, it is situated in an area of prolonged human activity and will provide evidence for later alterations due to changing practical needs and religious beliefs.


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


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, later utilised as a tree clump mound, situated 350m north of Highlands Farm. The barrow occupies the centre of a north west to south east aligned hill and has clear views in all directions. It lies 850m south east of the hillfort on Sinodin Hill the subject of separate scheduling. The barrow mound survives, despite part reduction by cultivation, as an upstanding earthwork measuring approximately 30m in diameter and standing up to 0.3m high. The mound is surrounded by a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during its construction. This has become infilled over the years and now lies beneath the edge of the spread mound. This ditch will survive as a buried feature to its original width of 3m. The barrow is believed to have been reused as a tree clump mound between 1800-1840 and it still has a ring of mature beech trees around it. During ploughing the surrounding field has produced Iron Age and early Roman pottery sherds although the nature of the activity and its relationship to the barrow is not fully understood. The area as a whole has obviously attracted human activity over a considerable period of time because of its fertile agricultural soil, commanding position and the availability of water in easily accessible springs.

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: 28197

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ditchfield, , Page (eds), , The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire: Volume I, (1906), 279

End of official listing