Round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020266

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2019 at 03:43:58.


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

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Totland

National Grid Reference: SZ 31568 85584


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in 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 round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards survives as a substantial earthwork which will retain archaeological information pertaining to its construction and use. In addition the old land surface sealed beneath the mound and the fill of the encircling ditch are likely to contain environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the barrow was placed.


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


The monument includes a round barrow situated on a slight saddle between the chalk escarpments of Headon Hill and West High Down. Despite its apparently inconspicuous situation today, it would originally have been a skyline feature when viewed from either the east or the west. The barrow mound is sub-circular in plan, a maximum of 19m in diameter and up to 1m in height. A ditch, from which material was excavated for the barrow's construction, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature approximately 2m in width. Documentary sources suggest that there was originally a small barrow cemetery within this area, of which the barrow west of the Old Coastguards was the most southerly. A further surviving barrow 130m to the NNW is the subject of a separate scheduling, whilst the construction of the new Alum Bay road is believed to have disturbed a third barrow which originally lay between them.

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: 33970

Legacy System: RSM


Isle of Wight County Council, Record Number 4330, (2000)

End of official listing