Three bowl barrows 380m south of Brownshill Staunch House, part of the Over round barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019130

Date first listed: 11-Apr-2000


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows 380m south of Brownshill Staunch House, part of the Over round barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Over

National Grid Reference: TL3712772293


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 barrows 380m south of Brownshill Staunch House have been protected by alluvium and are well preserved as standing earthworks and associated buried features. Excavation in the vicinity has provided rare information on the prehistoric landscape that surrounded the barrows, revealing field systems and settlement remains. Excavation of a barrow 300m to the south east, which consists of a complex structure containing several cremation burials, highlights the potential for the recovery of artefactual and structural evidence from the barrows in this group. The barrows appear not to have been excavated and most archaeological deposits are thought to survive intact.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows situated 380m south of Brownshill Staunch House on the east bank of the River Great Ouse, part of the Over round barrow cemetery. The mounds survive as substantial earthworks, protruding through a protective layer of alluvium. The easternmost mound stands to a height of 0.6m with a diameter of 30m, while its western neighbour (the middle barrow) is 0.4m high and has a diameter of 24m. The westernmost mound measures 0.2m high and 23m in diameter. The encircling ditches, from which earth was dug in the construction of the mounds, have become infilled but survive as buried features, up to 4m wide, visible on aerial photographs.

The barrows are situated on the fen edge along the River Great Ouse; a focal point for prehistoric settlement and ritual activity. They are part of a spread of barrow clusters along the former course of the river, and 350m to the south, are five further bowl barrows and part of a Late Bronze Age field system. These are the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 33360). It is possible that the field boundary ditches, which continue 200m eastwards also extend to the ground around the bowl barrows south of Brownshill Staunch House. This has not been proven however and the area is therefore not included in the scheduling.

Archaeological investigation in the area on the east and west bank of the river has revealed Neolithic and, on one location, Mesolithic occupation, as well as a Bronze Age field system and associated settlement features such as round houses and a long house. In addition a barrow 300m to the south east was partly excavated prior to gravel extraction, revealing a bank and revetment surrounding the mound, a collapsed wooden funerary structure, fire pit, and several cremation burials.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 33362

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing