Three bowl barrows 390m north west of The Firs


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021317

Date first listed: 26-Nov-2004


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows 390m north west of The Firs
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: City of Peterborough (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Newborough

National Grid Reference: TF 19205 04884


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 three bowl barrows 390m north west of The Firs are well preserved, having been protected by overlying deposits of peat and clay. They will contain a wealth of information relating to the barrows' construction, the manner and duration of their use, as well as ritual and domestic activity on the site. Buried soils underneath the mounds will retain valuable archaeological evidence concerning landuse in the area prior to the construction of the barrows, while organic deposits preserved in the ditches will shed light on environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna) since the construction of the barrows. Due to its low lying location the potential for waterlogged deposits in and around this barrow group is exceptionally high. The monument may contain some of the most valuable archaeological evidence preserved in a diffuse barrow landscape, of which it is part.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows located 390m north west of The Firs, south of the track known as Barnoak Road. The barrows have been covered and protected by later deposits of marine clay and peat from which the mounds now emerge. They are visible as yellow sandy gravel rises against the darker peat. The deeper lying remains of the barrows are preserved underneath the Fen deposits and include their encircling ditches, from which earth was dug in the construction of the mounds. The ditches have become infilled over the years but survive as buried features, which are visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks (areas of enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features). The easternmost barrow mound stands up to 0.3m high with a 24m diameter. Its encircling ditch is thought to measure 5m wide by comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the area. About 60m to the west is another barrow, which has a 15m diameter and stands 0.2m high. Its surrounding ditch is considered to measure 4m wide. The southernmost barrow's mound is 0.1m high with a 15m diameter and surrounded by a 4m wide ditch. The barrows are situated on river gravels 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. It is part of a diffuse barrow landscape, elements of which are subject to separate schedulings.

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: 33400

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing