Ancient Monuments

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Roman barrow, 438m south-west of Middle Park

A Scheduled Monument in Stowting, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1405 / 51°8'25"N

Longitude: 1.0504 / 1°3'1"E

OS Eastings: 613481.811188

OS Northings: 142341.003437

OS Grid: TR134423

Mapcode National: GBR TZS.GD8

Mapcode Global: VHLH6.5L5J

Entry Name: Roman barrow, 438m south-west of Middle Park

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005167

English Heritage Legacy ID: KE 112

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Stowting

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes a Roman barrow surviving as an earthwork and below-ground remains. It is situated on elevated ground, above a steep escarpment of the North Downs which overlooks Stowting to the west. The barrow is 10m to the west side of Stone Street a Roman road running from Roman Canterbury to Lympne.
It is a broadly circular shaped mound with a flattened top. The mound is approximately 3m high and 20m in diameter.
The barrow was first recorded in 1936 and is thought to be the only one in south-east England not disturbed by antiquarian investigation or past excavation.
The monument excludes all modern fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts. However the ground beneath these features is included.

Sources: Kent HER TR 14 SW 2. NMR TR 14 SW 2. PastScape 464250.
Kent OS Maps (1:2500): 1872, 1898, 1907 and 1940.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples. They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were reused when secondary Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are identified as nationally important.
The Roman barrow 438m south-west of Middle Park at Tumulus Farm is very well preserved. The barrow is thought to be the only Roman barrow in south-east England, which has not undergone cursory examination by antiquarians or partial excavation in the past. Roman barrows are a generally poorly understood monument type and this undisturbed example is therefore of considerable significance. It retains a high degree of archaeological potential. The barrow will contain archaeological and environmental information relating the barrow and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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