Ancient Monuments

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Three confluent bowl barrows 340m ESE of Freshwater Bay Golf Clubhouse: part of a round barrow cemetery on Afton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Freshwater, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6703 / 50°40'12"N

Longitude: -1.4985 / 1°29'54"W

OS Eastings: 435531.862508

OS Northings: 85742.503749

OS Grid: SZ355857

Mapcode National: GBR 793.ZY1

Mapcode Global: FRA 77R9.G12

Entry Name: Three confluent bowl barrows 340m ESE of Freshwater Bay Golf Clubhouse: part of a round barrow cemetery on Afton Down

Scheduled Date: 18 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007793

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22000

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Freshwater

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Freshwater All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes three confluent bowl barrows situated on a west facing
hillside overlooking the coastline on the south western part of the Isle of
Each of the confluent barrows has a mound with a width south east-north west
of 7.5m, 7m and 5m respectively. The width of the mounds north east-south west
ranges from 9.8m to 7.5m. All three mounds are c.0.5m high. Surrounding each
mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction.
These have become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground
level, but survive as buried features c.2m wide.
The middle barrow of the three displays evidence of antiquarian excavation,
and at least one of the barrows was partially excavated by the Rev J Skinner
in the 19th century who found parts of urns and burnt bones.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite at least one of the barrows being partially excavated, each of the
three confluent bowl barrows on Afton Down will contain archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to the barrow cemetery and the landscape
in which it was constructed. Three small confluent barrows are a relatively
rare occurrence, and this is enhanced by the fact that they form part of a
round barrow cemetery.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Proceeding of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (1929), 656
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
Add. Mss. BM 33650, 33652, (1817)
Skinner, Rev. J., Add. Mss. BM 33650, 33652, (1817)

Source: Historic England

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