Ancient Monuments

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Six bowl barrows at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs

A Scheduled Monument in Mawgan-in-Meneage, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0479 / 50°2'52"N

Longitude: -5.1786 / 5°10'43"W

OS Eastings: 172533.1988

OS Northings: 21257.4624

OS Grid: SW725212

Mapcode National: GBR Z6.F4SS

Mapcode Global: FRA 081W.GB0

Entry Name: Six bowl barrows at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1964

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003093

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 606

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Mawgan-in-Meneage

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Mawgan-in-Meneage

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into six areas of protection, includes six bowl barrows arranged in two distinct linear groups of three which form part of a dispersed and extensive round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs. The barrows survive as circular mounds, surrounded by buried quarry ditches from which their construction material was derived. In the southern group, the southernmost barrow measures 24m in diameter and 1.5m high and there is a triangulation pillar on its summit. This barrow was first recorded on the 1840 Tithe Map. The eastern barrow is 30m in diameter and 1.9m high with early excavation hollows on its summit. The northern barrow stands up to 42m in diameter and 2.8m high. Its top has surface hollows and there is a small concrete pad. It has also been interpreted as a possible bell barrow.

In the northern group, the southern barrow measures 34m in diameter and 2.5m high. On its top is a circular brick-lined gun emplacement and there is a hollow on its western side. The central barrow stands up to 30m in diameter and 2m high. Traces of a slight ditch to its north west are possibly the result of peat cutting. The northern barrow is 21m in diameter and 1.5m high. There are excavation hollows to the centre, south and east sides and some retaining kerb stones are visible.

The barrows were all recorded by Thomas in 1851 and,with the exception of the southernmost barrow, first depicted by the Ordnance Survey in 1907.

Further surviving barrows which form part of the cemetery are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-427455, 427458 and 427461

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite early partial excavation and subsequent adaptive re-use, the six bowl barrows at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs, survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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