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Bowl barrow on 'The Cop' hill, 270m north of Thickthorne Wood trig pillar

A Scheduled Monument in Chinnor, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7032 / 51°42'11"N

Longitude: -0.8822 / 0°52'56"W

OS Eastings: 477338.1875

OS Northings: 201086.466601

OS Grid: SP773010

Mapcode National: GBR C2V.5S0

Mapcode Global: VHDVP.NGG5

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on 'The Cop' hill, 270m north of Thickthorne Wood trig pillar

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 12 October 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009353

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19046

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Chinnor

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Bledlow with Saunderton and Horsenden

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a substantial bowl barrow situated on the north-western
end of a prominent chalk ridge. The barrow mound survives as a well defined
mound of chalk rubble construction 14.8m in diameter and up to 1.9m high.
There is no surface indication of the surrounding ditch from which the
material for the mound would have been quarried. However this will survive as
a buried feature and from the size of the mound it can be estimated
to have a width of 2m. The barrow was partly excavated by J F Head in 1937;
disturbance of the central area and northern quarter of the mound appears to
be as a result of this investigation which revealed a complicated series of
deposits representing several phases of use. The initial burial was Early
Bronze Age in date and included the inhumation of a female in a rectangular
pit at the centre of the mound. Secondary burials consisted of two
inhumations, both of Saxon date, one a young female in a shallow grave above
the primary burial, the other, a male in a shallow grave in the north-east
quadrant of the mound. Associated with the latter were an open-socketed
spearhead, an iron knife and a pair of bronze tweezers. This burial had
disturbed an earlier Saxon cremation burial. In addition to this disturbed
cremation, a further five pits contained Saxon cremation burials, two of which
were undisturbed with urns containing burnt bone and combs. The whole centre
of the mound, including the Bronze Age burial and the female Saxon burial, had
been disturbed by a 17th century investigation of the mound, evidenced by
finds of pottery and clay pipes of this period. Other finds from the body of
the mound and from its immediate vicinity include a Palaeolithic hand-axe, a
Neolithic polished axe, fragments of a Late Bronze Age beaker, various flint
scrapers, a Late Bronze Age knife, Roman pottery fragments and a coin of
Tetricus.

MAP EXTRACT
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
protection.

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
protection.

Despite being disturbed by past investigation, the Cop bowl barrow survives
well as a landscape feature. The 1937 excavation clearly demonstrates the
archaeological wealth of the monument and although much of the cultural
material has been removed, further important archaeological evidence still
survives. Finds of material from the Neolithic and Palaeolithic periods may
indicate earlier occupation of the site. There is potential for further
evidence of such occupation from beneath the mound in addition to
environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was
constructed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Record No. 0627,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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