Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows, once part of a round barrow cemetery, at Barrowfields

A Scheduled Monument in Newquay, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4186 / 50°25'7"N

Longitude: -5.0712 / 5°4'16"W

OS Eastings: 181923.5856

OS Northings: 62147.8394

OS Grid: SW819621

Mapcode National: GBR ZD.8P2Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 078Y.866

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows, once part of a round barrow cemetery, at Barrowfields

Scheduled Date: 28 May 1963

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004369

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 619

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Newquay

Built-Up Area: Newquay

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Columb Minor and Colan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows, once part of a round barrow cemetery, situated on the summit of cliffs in the centre of Newquay Bay, overlooking the offshore stacks of Lusty Glaze. The south western barrow survives as a roughly circular mound of clay and stone with an irregular profile. It measures of up to 20m in diameter and 2.5m high, and is surrounded by a partially-buried rock cut ditch of up to 0.6m deep. The cairn was first recorded in 1840 when it was partially excavated by Canon Roger. It had already been partially quarried and the material from it used for agricultural fertiliser. He discovered a base of flat slabs covered with and partially overlying burnt material. On top of the slabs was a small cairn containing an urn filled with fragments of bone. The small cairn was in turn covered with a thick layer of stone-free clay. Roger recorded that several other urns had already been removed and destroyed.
The central barrow survives as a crescent-shaped mound of up to 22m in diameter and 1m high, which has been cut on the southern side by a putting green and fence. The quarry ditch is preserved as a buried feature. The fence is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.
The north eastern barrow survives as a roughly circular platform of up to 12m in diameter and 1.3m high, best preserved to the north, with the traces of a largely-buried quarry ditch to the north east. It is crossed by an older field boundary bank to the south west which is associated with ridge and furrow.
The barrows formed part of an extensive linear round barrow cemetery of at least fifteen barrows at Barrowfields, the largest of which had been used as sea marks. Three barrows were destroyed between 1819 and 1821 and produced numerous cremation urns; one single barrow contained at least five arrow heads, an inhumation in a cist, further cists containing burnt bone and various internal stone built structures. The remaining barrows in the group were due to be removed later and the events were recorded in the West Briton newspaper of 1819 and 1821 and also extensively recorded by Borlase in 1872 although no further details are known.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-429343 and 429373

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. The three barrows at Barrowfields remain the last surviving barrows of a once large, extensive and important group situated on the coast. Despite partial early excavation, they will contain further 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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