Shrewsbury Barrow, Shooters Hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Land adjacent to the junction of Brinklow Crescent and Plum Lane, Shooters Hill, London Borough of Greenwich, SE18 3BP


Ordnance survey map of Shrewsbury Barrow, Shooters Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Land adjacent to the junction of Brinklow Crescent and Plum Lane, Shooters Hill, London Borough of Greenwich, SE18 3BP
Greater London Authority
Greenwich (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


A Bronze Age round barrow, the last known to survive of a group of six.

Reasons for Designation

The Shrewsbury Barrow, Shooters Hill is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: a substantial earthen mound which survives reasonably well; * Rarity: round barrows, particularly surviving in this good a state of preservation, are very rare in London; * Period: highly representative of the Bronze Age period; * Potential: despite the partial opening of the barrow, the archaeological potential is considered to be good, and has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the social organisation and burial practices of the country's Bronze Age population.


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.

Round barrows vary in size from 5m to over 50m in diameter and 6m in height and their peak period of construction was between 2000 and 1500 BC. Barrows are sometimes grouped together forming cemeteries, which typically consist of between five and 30 barrows in a variety of forms that have accumulated over many generations. Groups of barrows are sometimes found in association with other monuments that are also often assumed to have served ritual purposes, including avenues, cursuses, henges, mortuary enclosures and stone and timber circles.

The barrow at Shooters Hill is the last surviving of a group of six. Three of them were known to have formed a linear group, with the remaining two possibly forming or contributing to a second group. The barrows would have been located at the 'false horizon' position where they could be seen silhouetted against the sky from the foot of the hill. Maps show that in the mid C19 the barrow stood within the grounds of the mid-C19 Tower House, and it is illustrated with a ring of trees – only some of which remain. The barrow takes its name from Shrewsbury House, to the east, built in 1789 for the Earl of Shrewsbury, a descendant of Bess of Hardwick. Both buildings were demolished prior to 1935 to make way for the large Laing and Shrewsbury Park housing estates. Four of the other six barrows are believed to have been built upon during this period; the location of the last is not known.

An interpretation panel at the site notes that the barrow has at some stage been partially excavated, but this activity was not documented.


A Bronze Age round barrow, the last known to survive of a group of six.

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: a single circular mound enclosed by fences and iron rails.

DESCRIPTION: the barrow is understood to be the last surviving of a group of six. It stands on the high ground of Shooters Hill, and is approximately 25m wide and 1.5m high. An interpretation panel explains the probable origins of the barrow, and fencing encloses it and defines the extent of the scheduled area. The surrounding area is heavily built up.

EXCLUSIONS: the railings, interpretation panel and fence enclosing the barrow are excluded.


Archaeology Data Service, Shooters Hill , accessed 21/10/2015 from
E-Shooters Hill Blog, Barrow Quest, accessed 22/10/2015 from
Pastscape, Monument no 407973: Tumuli. , accessed 21/10/2015 from
Wessex Archaeology, Shooters Hill, Greenwich: Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results, September 2008. , accessed 22/10/2015 from
M Stevenson, 2010. London Borough of Greenwich: Areas
South East London Archaeological Unit. SMR CARD. L/G 14


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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