Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow at Tolvan Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Gweek, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1051 / 50°6'18"N

Longitude: -5.2085 / 5°12'30"W

OS Eastings: 170665.942

OS Northings: 27704.382179

OS Grid: SW706277

Mapcode National: GBR Z4.ZGX3

Mapcode Global: VH134.NMTB

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Tolvan Cross

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004269

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 787

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Gweek

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Constantine

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a bowl barrow, situated on a ridge forming the watershed between the valleys of two tributaries to the Helford River. The bowl barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 18m in diameter and 0.9m high. Its surrounding quarry ditch, from which the material for the construction of the mound was derived, is preserved as a buried feature. The barrow was first recorded by Blight in 1864 who reported it contained a pit lined with spar stones and speculated it to have been the original position of a burial mound associated with the Tolvan Stone.
The nearby holed stone is the subject of a separate scheduling.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-427073

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, 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. 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. Despite reduction in the height of the mound through past cultivation, the bowl barrow at Tolvan Cross survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context

Source: Historic England

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