Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Blaxhall Common

A Scheduled Monument in Tunstall, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1588 / 52°9'31"N

Longitude: 1.4768 / 1°28'36"E

OS Eastings: 637906.385

OS Northings: 256865.736222

OS Grid: TM379568

Mapcode National: GBR XQY.N5R

Mapcode Global: VHM7V.KZ2Z

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Blaxhall Common

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1975

Last Amended: 15 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008485

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21263

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Tunstall

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Blaxhall St Peter

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a bowl barrow, situated on heathland above the River
Alde, which lies 750m to the north east. The barrow is visible as an earthen
mound standing to a height of 1.2m and covering a circular area 30m in
diameter. On top of the mound, two overlapping hollows, both approximately 5m
in diameter and respectively 0.9m and 0.65m in depth, mark the site of old
explorations. One or both of these may have been created in 1827, when Roman
urns are said to have been found here.

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

The barrow on Blaxhall Common survives well, and the area of disturbance
resulting from limited explorations in the past is small relative to the
monument as a whole. Evidence of the manner in which the barrow was
constructed and used, of the duration of its use and also of the local
environment, at and prior to the time of its construction, will be preserved
in the mound and in the soils buried beneath it.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911), 301,626
White, W, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk, (1844), 160
Paterson H, AM 12, (1981)
Quoting local informant, Wilson, KHG, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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