Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive, Martlesham Heath

A Scheduled Monument in Martlesham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0534 / 52°3'12"N

Longitude: 1.2752 / 1°16'30"E

OS Eastings: 624650.113104

OS Northings: 244504.865347

OS Grid: TM246445

Mapcode National: GBR VPC.C6S

Mapcode Global: VHLBW.2N08

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive, Martlesham Heath

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1960

Last Amended: 12 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008732

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21270

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Martlesham

Built-Up Area: Kesgrave

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 situated on the southern edge of a modern
housing development on what was formerly heathland. The barrow is visible as
an earthen mound which is encircled by a buried ditch. The mound covers a
circular area with a diameter of 24m and was recorded in 1982 as standing to a
maximum height of 1.08m. Over the top and the north side of the barrow, this
has been increased to between 1.2m and 1.25m by the addition of a layer of
topsoil approximately 0.15m thick. The barrow is crossed east-west by a field
boundary and the southern part of the mound has been spread by ploughing and
reduced to a maximum height of approximately 0.4m. The surrounding ditch,
from which earth was dug and used during construction of the mound, was at one
time marked by a slight depression in the ground surface. It has now become
completely filled, but survives as a buried feature approximately 3m wide.
The post and rail fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath 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

Although part of the mound of the bowl barrow in Lancaster Drive has been
reduced by ploughing, the monument as a whole survives well and will retain
important archaeological information. Evidence concerning the construction
of the barrow, the manner and duration of its use, and the local environment
at that time, will be contained in the mound, in the soils preserved beneath
the mound, and in the fill of the buried ditch. The monument is one of four
barrows recorded within a distance of 300m, and these are among a larger group
on and around Martlesham Heath which, together, will provide evidence of the
nature and extent of Bronze Age activities in the area.

Source: Historic England


Contour plan in SMR file, Martin E, Contour plan in SMR file (1982), (1982)
Record of work observed by SAU, Martin E, BGL 007, (1983)
Robertson-Mackay, R, AM7, (1959)

Source: Historic England

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