Bowl barrow and Romano-British enclosure 430m south west of Earls Fen Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020848

Date first listed: 12-Mar-2003


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow and Romano-British enclosure 430m south west of Earls Fen Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Fenland (District Authority)

Parish: March

National Grid Reference: TL 45537 94886


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 430m south west of Earls Fen Farm is the best preserved example of a former alignment of three barrows - the other two now largely destroyed by ploughing. It will contain a range of information relating to the barrow's construction, the manner and duration of its use, as well as ritual and domestic activity on the site. Buried soils underneath the mound will retain valuable archaeological evidence concerning land use in the area prior to the construction of the barrow, while organic deposits preserved in the ditch will provide information on environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna) during and following the barrow's use as a funerary monument. The associated enclosure provides valuable evidence for the reuse of the barrow within a Romano-British landscape and its apparent utilisation as a boundary feature within this later field system. The monument has additional importance as part of the prehistoric landscape of Stonea Island, where some of the best preserved sites in the fenland are found.


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


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow and Romano-British enclosure 430m south west of Earls Fen Farm. The barrow has been partly protected and covered by later deposits of marine clay and peat, from which the mound emerges. It is visible as a slight gravel rise of approximately 38m in diameter and 0.5m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch, from which earth was dug in the construction of the mound. It has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature, which is visible as a dark soilmark and measures approximately 5m wide. The barrow lies in the south western corner of a rectangular enclosure, which measures 60m WNW-ESE and 100m north to south. The enclosure is part of a more widespread Romano-British field system, which has been identified as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The enclosure is included in the scheduling in order to protect its archaeological relationship with the earlier barrow. The wider field system is not included. The barrow is situated on Stonea Island, a gravel island within the prehistoric fen. This location, with its combination of wetter and drier grounds and easy access along the waterways, acted as a focal point for prehistoric activity, leaving a wide range of evidence, including, in the vicinity of the barrow, Neolithic flint tools and working debris, as well as Iron Age settlement remains.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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: 33394

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing