Three bowl barrows on Fawley Down, 580m west of Cheesefoot Head


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020319

Date first listed: 10-Nov-1950

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Dec-2001


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Fawley Down, 580m west of Cheesefoot Head
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Winchester (District Authority)

Parish: Owslebury

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 52548 27799


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 three bowl barrows situated on Fawley Down, 580m west of Cheesefoot Head survive comparatively well, despite disturbance caused by later excavation and modern ploughing, and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the barrows and the environment in which they were constructed. Their importance is increased by their prominent location beside the South Downs Way, and by their close proximity to contemporary monuments, including an additional bowl barrow 550m to the north west and a cross dyke 200m to the north west, both the subject of separate schedulings, and aerial photographic evidence of surrounding field systems. Taken together, the individual elements combine to provide insight to a surviving Bronze Age landscape.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows of late Neolithic or Bronze Age date (3000-700 BC), situated on Fawley Down 580m west of Cheesefoot Head. The barrows are prominently situated at the highest point of the Down beside the modern route of the South Downs Way and command extensive views in all directions. Two surviving bowl barrows have been clipped on at least two sides by modern ploughing. The smaller of the two, to the north west, includes a subcircular shaped mound, 5m-6m in diameter and 0.7m high, deeply hollowed on the south east side as a result of later excavation. The Ordnance Survey originally recorded a shallow ditch surrounding the mound from which material would have been obtained for the mound's construction. This has now been infilled by ploughing but can be expected to survive as a buried feature. The larger mound, 75m to the south east, was originally recorded by the Ordnance Survey as measuring 16m in diameter, but has now been reduced by ploughing to a squared-off mound, 12m-13m in diameter and 1m high. There are traces of a partly infilled ditch, 2m-3m wide, at the northern corner that can be expected to survive as a buried feature surrounding the barrow. Further buried remains associated with the original construction and use of both barrows, including burials, grave pits, burial goods, and the original ground surface, can be expected to survive beneath and between the mounds. The buried remains of a surrounding ditch may also survive. The third barrow, situated between the two, has been heavily disturbed as a result of archaeological excavations conducted for the Winchester City Museum in 1968. However, some remains will survive.

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: 34142

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 35
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 35

End of official listing