Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Highley Hill bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Ashwell, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0244 / 52°1'27"N

Longitude: -0.1277 / 0°7'39"W

OS Eastings: 528558.141096

OS Northings: 237875.86613

OS Grid: TL285378

Mapcode National: GBR J6M.4HM

Mapcode Global: VHGNG.QCVY

Entry Name: Highley Hill bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1957

Last Amended: 3 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009428

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20616

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Ashwell

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Ashwell

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is situated on the south-west summit
of Highley Hill overlooking the Icknield Way. The hemispherical earth mound
measures 35m in diameter and c.4.5m in height. Although no longer visible at
ground level, a ditch, from which material was excavated for the construction
of the monument, surrounds the barrow mound. This ditch has been infilled
over the years but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The diameter of
the ditch and mound together is 39m.

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

Highley Hill bowl barrow is of large size and has never been excavated.
Despite some evidence for animal disturbance, it survives well and contains
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


NAR No: TL 23 NE 23, Information from NAR (TL 23 NE 23),

Source: Historic England

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