Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows on the coastal ridges above Bude Bay

A Scheduled Monument in Bude-Stratton, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.8385 / 50°50'18"N

Longitude: -4.5515 / 4°33'5"W

OS Eastings: 220446.6862

OS Northings: 107430.1284

OS Grid: SS204074

Mapcode National: GBR K2.WDSQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 16CW.6NS

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on the coastal ridges above Bude Bay

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004472

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 330

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Bude-Stratton

Built-Up Area: Flexbury

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Poughill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows which are situated on cliff locations, overlooking Bude Bay. The three barrows are aligned north to south. The northern barrow [SS 2022 0890] survives as a circular flat-topped stone and earth-built mound standing up to 17.5m in diameter and 1.5m high, situated in a hill top position. A central hollow indicates early partial excavation or robbing. The central barrow [SS 2025 0807] survives as a circular stone and earth-built mound up to 22m in diameter and 0.8m high, situated on a north facing slope. There is an old excavation hollow on the top, and the excavated material lies to the south of the barrow. The southern barrow [SS 2044 0742] survives as a circular mound on a coastal crest and measures up to 31m in diameter and 1.6m high. For all three barrows the surrounding quarry ditches, from which material to construct the mounds was derived, are preserved as buried features.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-31855, 31858 and 31861

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 some reduction in the heights of the mounds through past cultivation and partial early excavation or robbing, the three bowl barrows on the coastal ridges above Bude Bay survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, longevity, relative chronologies, social organisation, territorial significance, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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