Four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020750

Date first listed: 24-Jul-2002


Ordnance survey map of Four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ladock

National Grid Reference: SW 91062 54646


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.

Despite limited disturbance, the four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa survive well. The mounds remain substantially intact, and the old land surfaces beneath the mounds and any deposits associated with them will also survive. They provide a good example of the linear arrangement of barrows, and illustrate the important role of topography in Bronze Age funerary activity.


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


This monument includes four later prehistoric round barrows, situated on a moderate slope above a south west spur from a prominent north-south aligned ridge, east of Summercourt. They are associated with other barrows beyond this scheduling, forming an outlying group in a wider ridg e-top prehistoric barrow cemetery. All four barrows have mounds of earth and stone, with no known surrounding ditches. They are closely grouped, and fairly evenly spaced, forming an alignment running roughly south west-north east, with the pair at the north east end being aligned closer to WSW-ENE The mound of the barrow at the south west end of the group has a diameter of 10m and a low but regular curving profile, up to 0.2m high. The barrow mound to its north east measures 12.7m in diameter. Again, it has a gently rounded profile, its height being approximately 0.5m. The mound of the third barrow, to the north east of the other two, is slightly oval in plan, its dimensions being 14.7m north east-south west and 12.4m north west-south east. It is flat-topped, and has some disturbed hollows in its top and west side, but is up to 0.5m high. An old map shows that the barrow mound at the north west end of the group was also oval. It is now partially spread up to the boundary bank on its north west side, its visible plan being roughly D-shaped, measuring 16.6m across north east-south west and 13.5m north west-south east. It has a fairly regular curving profile, and is up to 0.7m high. The modern fencing, gate and gate fittings, and agricultural equipment, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 32961

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Milln, J, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, Parish of Ladock, (1975), 108
Milln, J, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, Parish of Ladock, (1975), 108
MS at RIC library, Truro, Henderson, C, History of the Parish of Ladock, (1920)
Title: Ladock Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1056
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1908 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing