Bowl barrow 225m north east of Prior's Fen Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

City of Peterborough (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 25798 00052

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 225m north east of Prior's Fen Farm is well preserved, having been protected by overlying deposits of peat and clay and will contain a wealth 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 landuse in the area prior to the construction of the barrow, while organic deposits preserved in the ditch will shed light on environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna) since the construction of the barrow. The monument has additional importance as part of a diffuse barrow landscape at Eye and Thorney.


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated 225m north east of Prior's Fen Farm. The barrow has been covered and protected by later deposits of marine clay and peat from which the mound emerges. It is visible as a gravel rise which stands approximately 0.3m high compared to the surrounding land on the north, and up to 1m high on the south, where the land slopes down towards the former Fen edge. It measures 38m in diameter. 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. Although it has become infilled over the years, it survives as a buried feature visible on air photographs as a cropmark (an area of enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features). By comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the area, the ditch is thought to measure approximately 5m wide. Around the barrow fragments of worked flint have been found. The bowl barrow is situated within an area of diffuse Romano-British settlement remains, identified as cropmarks on aerial photographs. It lies within a rectangular field enclosure, part of which is preserved within the scheduling. The barrow is situated on the edge of a gravel peninsula along the prehistoric Fen edge, a location that with, its mixture of wetter and drier grounds and easy access along the waterways, attracted prehistoric activity. The monument is part of a diffuse barrow landscape at Eye and Thorney.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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:
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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