Bowl barrow 450m east of Shelford Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020398

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 450m east of Shelford Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 01:11:25.


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: East Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Haddenham

National Grid Reference: TL 39877 74465


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 barrow 450m east of Shelford Farm is exceptionally well-preserved, having been protected by overlying deposits of peat and clay. It will contain a wealth of archaeological information relating to activity on the site, the manner and duration of use of the barrow and its construction. Investigations of other funerary monuments in the area have demonstrated the potential for preserved remains from the Middle Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age, as well as evidence of later Bronze Age and Iron Age ritual and domestic activity on and around the barrows. Buried soils underneath the mound will retain valuable archaeological evidence concerning landuse in the area prior to the construction of the barrow. The monument has additional importance as part of an exceptional prehistoric landscape, in which a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, located about 1150m to the south east, acted as a ritual focus.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated 450m east of Shelford Farm. It is situated on a gravel island, where the former course of the River Great Ouse once met the Fen edge. This location acted as a focal point for prehistoric activity leaving a wide range of evidence, including a spread of funerary monuments. About 600m to the north east are two further bowl barrows, which are the subject of separate schedulings.

The barrow in this scheduling has been covered and protected by later deposits of marine clay and peat, from which the top of the mound now emerges. This crown is visible as a small gravel patch on the ground and as a cropmark (an area of enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological feature) from the air. The deeper lying remains of the barrow are preserved underneath the fen deposits and include an encircling ditch, from which earth was dug in the construction of the mound. By comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the region the mound is thought to measure approximately 25m in diameter and to be surrounded by a 5m wide ditch.

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: 33376

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing