Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 50m north-west of footbridge: one of three round barrows on Shelley Common

A Scheduled Monument in Ongar, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7232 / 51°43'23"N

Longitude: 0.2389 / 0°14'20"E

OS Eastings: 554742.11168

OS Northings: 205092.965186

OS Grid: TL547050

Mapcode National: GBR MGL.TFP

Mapcode Global: VHHMH.3Y5C

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 50m north-west of footbridge: one of three round barrows on Shelley Common

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1955

Last Amended: 28 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009244

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20659

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Ongar

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Chipping Ongar with Shelley

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the flood plain of Cripsey
Brook, 700m west of Shelley Church. It is visible as an earthen mound which
measures 7m in diameter and c.0.3m in height. Although no longer visible at
ground level, a ditch, from which material was excavated during the
construction of the monument, 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

The bowl barrow 50m north-west of the footbridge on Shelley Common is well
preserved and therefore will retain archaeological information and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. Two other barrows survive on Shelley Common and are situated
a short distance to the north. As a group these provide a valuable insight
into the nature and intensity of Bronze Age occupation in this area.

Source: Historic England


Information from SMR (NO 141),

Source: Historic England

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