Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Boskenwyn Downs, 510m east of Lower Boskenwyn

A Scheduled Monument in Gweek, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1008 / 50°6'2"N

Longitude: -5.2237 / 5°13'25"W

OS Eastings: 169560.65902

OS Northings: 27274.76922

OS Grid: SW695272

Mapcode National: GBR Z3.NYPY

Mapcode Global: VH134.DQSM

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Boskenwyn Downs, 510m east of Lower Boskenwyn

Scheduled Date: 10 May 1933

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004509

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 266

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Gweek

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Wendron

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated, close to the summit of a prominent ridge which forms the watershed between two tributaries to the Helford River. The barrow survives as a circular mound standing up to 18m in diameter and 0.9m high, with an approximately 9m wide berm. An outer surrounding quarry ditch, from which material to construct the mound was derived, measures up to 2m wide and 0.8m deep. The barrow was first recorded by Thomas in 1851, by Blight in 1862 and Henderson in the 1920's. There is a central hollow, probably the result of early partial excavation or robbing.
The barrow and ditch are bisected by field boundaries which are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-425408

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. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. 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 or robbing and infilling of the ditch through cultivation, the bowl barrow on Boskenwyn Downs 510m east of Lower Boskenwyn survives comparatively well and has a very prominent location and a well preserved variety of features. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social organisation, territorial significance, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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