Ancient Monuments

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Three round barrows west of Bopeep chalk pit

A Scheduled Monument in Alciston, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8275 / 50°49'39"N

Longitude: 0.1152 / 0°6'54"E

OS Eastings: 549066.595894

OS Northings: 105243.697068

OS Grid: TQ490052

Mapcode National: GBR LS3.5XQ

Mapcode Global: FRA C64X.6Q6

Entry Name: Three round barrows W of Bopeep chalk pit

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1967

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002268

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 274

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Alciston

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Selmeston St Mary with Alciston

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Two bowl barrows and a saucer barrow, 923m south-west of Bopeep Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 March 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes two bowl barrows and a saucer barrow situated west of Bopeep Chalk Pit on the steep escarpment forming the northern edge of the South Downs, between Lewes and Eastbourne. The South Downs Way passes just to the north of the barrows. The barrows are aligned north-south in a linear formation. They have all been reduced in height by ploughing and survive as slight earthworks and buried archaeological remains. The northernmost barrow is a saucer barrow with a roughly circular-shaped flat-topped mound and surrounding bank. The mound is 15m in diameter and 0.7m high. The bank has been reduced by cultivation and is no longer visible. The central bowl barrow, 55m to the south, is also much reduced by cultivation and survives as a slight undulation with buried archaeological remains. It was originally a broadly circular-shaped mound at least 6m in diameter and 0.6m high. The southernmost bowl barrow is a roughly circular mound about 12m in diameter and 0.6m high.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a variety of burial practices. Saucer barrows date from the Early Bronze Age. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as a circular area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and largely occupied by a single low, squat mound covering one or more burials, often in a pit. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 examples nationally.

Despite having been reduced by ploughing, the two bowl barrows and saucer barrow, 923m south-west of Bopeep Farm will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the barrows and the landscape in which they were constructed. Their close association with broadly contemporary and later, early medieval funerary monuments along the prominent escarpment to the west and east, provides evidence for the continuing importance of this area of downland for burial and ceremonial practices over a period of around 3000 years.

Source: Historic England


NMR TQ40NE33. PastScape 405777.

Source: Historic England

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