Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows on Frensham Common

A Scheduled Monument in Frensham, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.1587 / 51°9'31"N

Longitude: -0.781 / 0°46'51"W

OS Eastings: 485337.921196

OS Northings: 140646.171656

OS Grid: SU853406

Mapcode National: GBR DBX.7CH

Mapcode Global: VHDYG.D4YK

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Frensham Common

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1934

Last Amended: 22 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008880

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20160

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Frensham

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Frensham

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned north-south and situated on
the crest of a ridge in the Lower Greensand. The northern and largest of the
three barrows has a mound 30m in diameter and 2m high with a slight dip
in the centre suggesting that it was once partially excavated. This mound is
surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction
of the monument. Visible remains of this survive to the north and west of the
mound as an earthwork 3m wide and 0.5m deep; elsewhere it survives as a buried
feature. The central barrow has a mound 15m in diameter and 1.1m high. This
too shows evidence of probable partial excavation and is also surrounded by a
ditch still visible as a slight depression to the east and west of the mound.
The southern barrow comprises a mound 18m in diameter and 1.2m high with a
surrounding ditch 3m wide and 0.5m deep visible to the east and south.

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 three bowl barrows on Frensham Common survive
well and contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to
the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Baker, H J, Minchin, H C, Frensham then and now, (1948), 8, 33
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, , Vol. 79, (1987), 36
Ordnance Survey, SU 84 SE 17, (1966)
Ordnance Survey, SU 84 SE 9, (1966)

Source: Historic England

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