Low Hill bowl barrow, 575m north of Fen Drayton Reservoir


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020392

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Low Hill bowl barrow, 575m north of Fen Drayton Reservoir
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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: Fen Drayton

National Grid Reference: TL 33327 69609


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.

Low Hill bowl barrow, 575m north of Fen Drayton Reservoir, which has been mainly under pasture and has not been damaged by intensive cultivation, is an exceptionally well-preserved and prominent earthwork. It appears to be undisturbed and will contain a wealth of archaeological evidence relating to its construction, the manner and duration of its use and other activity on the site. The monument has additional value as part of an important archaeological landscape which contains settlement evidence from the Early Neolithic period onwards.


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


The monument includes Low Hill bowl barrow, situated 575m north of Fen Drayton Reservoir. It is positioned on the edge of the alluvial terraces of the prehistoric River Great Ouse, where it once emptied into the Fen. This location with its mixture of wetter and drier grounds is known to have attracted occupation from the Early Neolithic period onwards. It is situated between an important Roman road and a navigable river and it has been suggested that the barrow is of Roman origin. Its low rounded shape, rather than the distinctive Roman conical form, however, points to a Bronze Age date.

The mound of Low Hill barrow, preserved as a prominent earthwork, stands 1m high and covers an area approximately 30m in diameter. Its ditch, from which earth was dug in the construction of the mound, has become infilled and is no longer visible above ground. It will, however, survive as a buried feature, which by comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the region is considered to measure approximately 5m wide.

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: 33368

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing