Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of The Four Winds


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


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of The Four Winds
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 18976 05186, TF 19048 05125

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 barrows and ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of the Four Winds 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. The monument has additional importance as part of a diffuse barrow landscape.


The monument includes three bowl barrows and a ring ditch which lie within two separate areas of protection, situated approximately 590m and 500m north west of The Four Winds. 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 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 ring ditch is preserved as a buried feature visible as a cropmark, as well as a soilmark on the ground during dry summers. The westernmost barrow mound is partly preserved underneath Drain Road, and partly in a ploughed field, where it is visible as a 0.1m high rise with diameter of 16m. It survives to a greater height underneath Drain Road, which rises as it crosses the barrow and lies about 2m higher than the neighbouring field. The barrow's encircling ditch is thought to measure 4m wide by comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the area. Immediately to the north east is a 4m wide ring ditch, which encloses an area 16m in diameter. At its centre is a small circular ditch. About 90m to the south east is a group of two barrows protected in a separate area. The westernmost barrow's mound stands up to 0.1m high with a diameter of 11m. Its surrounding ditch is thought to measure 3m wide. About 50m to the north east is another barrow, whose mound measures 16m in diameter and 0.3m high and is encircled by a 4m wide ditch. The barrows and ring ditch 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, other elements of which are subject to separate schedulings. The modern surfacing of Drain Road is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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:
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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