Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Triple bell barrow on Turners Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Elstead, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.1969 / 51°11'48"N

Longitude: -0.7224 / 0°43'20"W

OS Eastings: 489366.462831

OS Northings: 144959.407858

OS Grid: SU893449

Mapcode National: GBR DBD.XWS

Mapcode Global: VHDY9.F5GT

Entry Name: Triple bell barrow on Turners Hill

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1934

Last Amended: 11 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008850

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20155

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Elstead

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Elstead

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument includes a triple bell barrow situated on a low ridge in the
Lower Greensand. It comprises three mounds in a slightly offset line running
NNW-SSE and surrounded by a single ditch and outer bank. The northern mound is
10m in diameter and 0.8m high, the middle mound 16m in diameter and 1.8m high
and the southern mound is 13m in diameter and 1m high. There is a hollow in
the top of the central mound suggesting that it was once partially excavated.
Around the mounds is a level platform, or berm, which is contained by a single
ditch. This has become partially infilled over the years, the majority of it
surviving as a buried feature; however it can still be seen at ground level on
the eastern side of the monument where it survives to 3m wide and 0.3m deep.
Beyond the ditch are the remains of an outer bank 4.5-5m wide and 0.2m high
which is also best preserved on the eastern side of the monument.

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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite partial excavation, the triple bell barrow on Turners Hill survives
well. It is the only example of this type of bell barrow in Surrey and is a
rare form nationally. It contains both archaeological remains and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, , Vol. 79, (1987)
Ketteringham, L, AM12 SU93, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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