Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 80m south east of Spelsburydown Farm barns

A Scheduled Monument in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9098 / 51°54'35"N

Longitude: -1.4933 / 1°29'35"W

OS Eastings: 434951.212082

OS Northings: 223591.484165

OS Grid: SP349235

Mapcode National: GBR 6T7.78Z

Mapcode Global: VHBZH.28D9

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 80m south east of Spelsburydown Farm barns

Scheduled Date: 23 April 1949

Last Amended: 13 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009427

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21840

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Spelsbury

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Spelsbury

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow situated 80m south east of
Spelsburydown Farm barns. It is one of a dispersed group of three bowl barrows
located on a south west to north east ridge which slopes away to the east.
The barrow mound has been reduced by cultivation and survives as a low
earthwork with a diameter of 20m standing up to 0.5m high. It is known,
however, that the barrow mound originally measured 21m in diameter and stood
up to at least 2.5m high. Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which
material was obtained during its construction. Although this ditch has become
infilled over the years and is no longer visible at ground level, it will
survive as a buried feature 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 disturbance to the barrow mound, the bowl barrow 80m south east
of Spelsburydown Farm barns survives comparatively well and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction of the
monument and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mudd, A, Round Barrows of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, (1983)
Mudd, A, Round Barrows of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, (1983)
Thurlow Leeds, E, 'A History of Oxfordshire' in Early Man III Bronze Age, , Vol. Volume 1, (1939), 243

Source: Historic England

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