Roman barrow adjacent to Ermine Street, 290m east of St Bartholomew's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018973

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Roman barrow adjacent to Ermine Street, 290m east of St Bartholomew's Church
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 21:42:16.


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire (District Authority)

Parish: The Stukeleys

National Grid Reference: TL 21990 74578


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

Reasons for Designation

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples. They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were re-used when secondary Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are identified as nationally important.

The Roman barrow 290m east of St Bartholomew's Church remains a substantial earthwork and is exceptionally well preserved. As part of a concentration of Roman barrows in East Anglia it provides a unique insight into the social and economic development of south east England in the early days of Roman occupation. The barrow has not been excavated and most archaeological deposits are therefore believed to survive intact.


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


The monument includes a Roman barrow situated on the west side of Ermine Street, 290m east of St Bartholomew's Church. The mound survives as a substantial earthwork encircled by a ditch.

The conical mound has a flat platform top and stands to a height of 2m from the bottom of the ditch. It covers an area approximately 20m in diameter. The north eastern edge of the mound and the ditch, from which earth was dug and used in the construction of the mound, have been cut by Ermine Street, while the southern half of the ditch has been truncated by a modern housing development. Elsewhere the ditch survives as a slight depression with a maximum width of 1.5m at the bottom and 4m at the top.

The monument is one of two barrows in close proximity situated next to the Roman road Ermine Street; the other barrow, situated 180m to the north west, is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 33352

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing