Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows on West End Common

A Scheduled Monument in West End, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.3436 / 51°20'36"N

Longitude: -0.6598 / 0°39'35"W

OS Eastings: 493438.538154

OS Northings: 161349.601446

OS Grid: SU934613

Mapcode National: GBR FB2.N0P

Mapcode Global: VHFV0.JH0C

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows on West End Common

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1965

Last Amended: 8 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007890

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20184

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: West End

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Bisley and West End

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument includes four contiguous bowl barrows aligned east-west and
situated along the crest of a hill in the Lower Greensand. The western barrow
has a mound 30m north-south, 23m east-west and 2.2m high. To the east the
second and third barrows form a double mound 32m east-west and 20m north-south
with each mound standing to a height of 2m. The most easterly barrow has a
mound 30m north-south, 28m east-west and 2.2m high. All of the mounds have a
slight hollow in the centre suggesting that they were all once partially
excavated. Surrounding the mounds is a single ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become partially
infilled over the years but is still visible to the south of the mounds as a
slight earthwork 4m wide and 0.3m deep, the rest surviving as a buried

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

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
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite partial excavation, the four contiguous bowl barrows on West End
Common survive well as an outstanding example of a very rare form nationally
as well as being the only example of its kind in Surrey. As one of a clearly
defined group which, from the evidence of the single ditch, may have been
built in a single phase, the site will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the social organisation of Bronze Age
communities in this area, their economy and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, (1987), 14
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, (1987), 14
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in An Analysis And List Of Surrey Barrows, , Vol. 42, (1934), 39-40

Source: Historic England

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