Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow at Shirley Holms, 660m east-north-east of Little Purley Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sway, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.7865 / 50°47'11"N

Longitude: -1.5835 / 1°35'0"W

OS Eastings: 429457.226545

OS Northings: 98629.545728

OS Grid: SZ294986

Mapcode National: GBR 66B.NGD

Mapcode Global: FRA 77K0.JWT

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Shirley Holms, 660m east-north-east of Little Purley Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1960

Last Amended: 13 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008812

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20333

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Sway

Built-Up Area: Sway

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Sway St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


This monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the brow of an east facing
slope overlooking Milking Pound Bottom. The barrow mound measures 16m in
diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. A slight hollow in the centre of the
mound represents the location of a partial excavation carried out in the 18th
century. This work revealed that the mound was constructed of white gravel and
sand and beneath this was a pit containing a Bronze Age pot and cremation
burial. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which
material was quarried during the construction of the barrow, surrounds the
mound. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried
feature c.2m wide.

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 partial excavation, the bowl barrow at Shirley Holms, 660m east-north-
east of Little Purley Farm, survives comparatively well within the New Forest,
an area known to have been important in terms of lowland Bronze Age
occupation. A considerable amount of archaeological evidence has survived in
this area because of a lack of agricultural activity, the result of later
climatic deterioration, development of heath and the establishment of a Royal

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Warner, R, Topographical Remarks Relating to the SW Parts of Hampshire, (1793), 60,70-9
Hampshire County Planning Department, SZ29NE24D,

Source: Historic England

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