Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 180m ENE of Sheep Drift Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Brightwell, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0507 / 52°3'2"N

Longitude: 1.2857 / 1°17'8"E

OS Eastings: 625383.79487

OS Northings: 244238.102778

OS Grid: TM253442

Mapcode National: GBR VPD.FVD

Mapcode Global: VHLBW.7QKB

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 180m ENE of Sheep Drift Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1960

Last Amended: 26 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008684

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21260

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Brightwell

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Brightwell St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a bowl barrow which consists of an earthen mound
encircled by a ditch. The mound covers an area c 19m in diameter and was
recorded in 1977 as standing to a height of 0.5m. Since then it has been
raised to c 1.8m by the dumping of topsoil and organic matter over the central
area and converted into a garden feature. The original earthwork has a
maximum height of c 0.4m where it projects beyond this cover on the southern
and eastern sides, and it is also visible as a slight hump, c 0.25m in height,
beneath the concrete surface of a track which crosses it on the northern side.
The ditch, from which earth was dug and used during construction of the
barrow, has become filled-in and, although visible at one time as a slight
depression in the ground surface, it now exists only as a buried feature.
Excluded from the scheduling are a fence which runs across the mound from east
to west and the concrete surface of the track which crosses it on the northern
side, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Records of the barrow ENE of Sheep Drift Farm, made before the greater part of
the mound was hidden by a cover of additional topsoil, indicate that it was
subjected to a limited excavation at some unknown date in the past but that
the extent of this disturbance was minor. Evidence of the manner in which the
barrow was constructed and used, of the duration of its use and of the local
environment at and prior to that time will be preserved in the mound, in the
soils buried beneath the mound, and in deposits in the buried ditch. The
importance of this monument is enhanced by the fact that it is situated close
to another barrow which lies 30m to the south-east, and that both are among
the several which remain of a large group recorded in the area.

Source: Historic England


AM7 (AI 126610),
Barrow survey, Martin E, Suffolk SMR BGL 011, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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