Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow in Portal Avenue

A Scheduled Monument in Martlesham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0684 / 52°4'6"N

Longitude: 1.2702 / 1°16'12"E

OS Eastings: 624232.821371

OS Northings: 246165.599458

OS Grid: TM242461

Mapcode National: GBR VP5.9Z4

Mapcode Global: VHLBV.Y8WP

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Portal Avenue

Scheduled Date: 23 August 1978

Last Amended: 5 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008729

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21259

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Martlesham

Built-Up Area: Kesgrave

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Martlesham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is visible as an earthen mound
standing to a height of 2.6m and covering an area 30m in diameter. On the
western side of the mound, extending towards the centre, a linear hollow
c 1.2m wide marks the site of an old slit trench. North of the centre is an
irregular hollow measuring c 4m in diameter and 0.8m deep in the mound
surface, and there are three smaller hollows c 2m in diameter and 0.3m deep on
the western side. Although there is no evidence visible on the ground surface
of a ditch encircling the mound, it is likely that one will survive as a
buried feature.

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

Although the barrow in Portal Avenue has suffered some damage from the digging
of a slit trench, the monument survives well. Evidence concerning the manner
in which the mound was constructed and used, the duration of its use, and the
local environment at the time of and prior to its construction, will be
contained in the mound and in the soils preserved beneath it. The importance
of the monument is enhanced by the fact that it is one of several which remain
of a large group of round barrows recorded as having existed in the Martlesham
area. Two more lie c 400m to the south-west.

Source: Historic England

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