Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows on Bofarnel Downs forming part of a round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in St. Winnow, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4412 / 50°26'28"N

Longitude: -4.6494 / 4°38'57"W

OS Eastings: 211968.7575

OS Northings: 63509.4886

OS Grid: SX119635

Mapcode National: GBR N5.PKKH

Mapcode Global: FRA 174W.JH5

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows on Bofarnel Downs forming part of a round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 17 April 1957

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004437

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 446

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Winnow

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Winnow with St Nectan's Chapel

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes four bowl barrows, situated at the summit of a prominent ridge called Bofarnel Downs, which forms the watershed between the River Fowey and one of its tributaries. The barrows are arranged in a south west to north east alignment. All survive as circular mounds with individual surrounding quarry ditches, which provided the original construction material, preserved as buried features. The western mound measures 20m in diameter and 0.9m high and is cut by a modern fence on the western side. The centre western mound is 15m in diameter and 0.6m high. The centre eastern mound is 14m in diameter and 0.8m high. The eastern mound is 23m in diameter, 0.3m high and has a central hollow as a result of early partial excavation or robbing.

The modern fence is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

The four barrows form part of a much larger dispersed round barrow cemetery and others within it are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-432732, 432735, 432738 and 432741

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 four bowl barrows on Bofarnel Downs forming part of a round barrow cemetery, survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, longevity, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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