Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows 650m SSW of Polkerth forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs

A Scheduled Monument in St. Keverne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0494 / 50°2'57"N

Longitude: -5.1638 / 5°9'49"W

OS Eastings: 173602.8826

OS Northings: 21377.7914

OS Grid: SW736213

Mapcode National: GBR Z7.R2NZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 082W.83W

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 650m SSW of Polkerth forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Goonhilly Downs

Scheduled Date: 28 October 1959

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004375

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 562

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Keverne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Keverne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows, situated on the northern slopes of Goonhilly Downs. The barrows survive as circular mounds, with central excavation hollows. They are surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived. The southern mound measures 17m in diameter and 1.6m high and has been cut slightly on one side. The eastern mound measures 14m in diameter and 1.3m high and is surrounded by small surface stone quarries. The northern mound measures 19m in diameter and 1.6m high and is also surrounded by quarries. All three barrows were first recorded by R Thomas in 1851.

Further barrows which form part of the same round barrow cemetery are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-427410, 427473 and 427476

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 partial early excavation, the three bowl barrows 650m SSW of Polkerth forming part of a round barrow cemetery 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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