Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on Great Mell Fell

A Scheduled Monument in Matterdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.62 / 54°37'11"N

Longitude: -2.9357 / 2°56'8"W

OS Eastings: 339674.281876

OS Northings: 525380.822556

OS Grid: NY396253

Mapcode National: GBR 7HY0.6N

Mapcode Global: WH81F.W46L

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Great Mell Fell

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 19 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008632

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23686

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Matterdale

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Greystoke

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a bowl barrow located on the summit of Great Mell Fell.
It includes a circular mound of earth and stones 8.5m in diameter and 0.8m
high. Surrounding the barrow there is a shallow ditch measuring up to 2.5m
wide and 0.2m deep that is separated from the mound by a berm approximately 5m

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 minor surface damage to the centre of the mound caused by removal of
an Ordnance Survey column, the bowl barrow on Great Mell Fell survives
reasonably well and will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within
the mound and upon the old land surface beneath. Additionally the monument is
a rare example in Cumbria of a bowl barrow surrounded by a ditch which is
separated from the mound by a berm.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Anderson, W D, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in The Tumulus on Great Mell Fell, , Vol. XX111, (1922), 112-4
SMR No. 1126, Cumbria SMR, Round Barrow on Great Mell Fell, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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