Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows on Heathy Brow

A Scheduled Monument in Meads, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7443 / 50°44'39"N

Longitude: 0.2545 / 0°15'16"E

OS Eastings: 559154.751852

OS Northings: 96280.021514

OS Grid: TV591962

Mapcode National: GBR MVL.C4Q

Mapcode Global: FRA C7F3.LZN

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Heathy Brow

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1963

Last Amended: 21 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009056

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20129

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Meads

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Eastbourne St John,Meads

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned north-south and situated on
a west facing slope north of Beachy Head. The southern of the three barrows
comprises a mound 11m in diameter and 0.3m high with a surrounding ditch from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This is
no longer visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but
survives as a buried feature 2m wide. The middle barrow has a mound 22m in
diameter and 0.7m high and a surrounding quarry ditch which survives as a
buried feature c.3m wide. The northern of the three barrows comprises a mound
12m in diameter and 0.2m high with an infilled surrounding ditch c.2m across.

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 some spreading caused by cultivation, the bowl barrows on Heathy Brow
survive comparatively well and contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in
which the barrow was constructed. Such closely spaced groups of barrows
provide an insight into the nature and intensity of human occupation in this
area during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows (Volume 75), , Vol. 75, (1934), 275
Bradley, R, TV 59 NE 60, (1969)

Source: Historic England

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