Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow in the north-west corner of Town Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Aldworth, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.5306 / 51°31'50"N

Longitude: -1.2068 / 1°12'24"W

OS Eastings: 455117.894454

OS Northings: 181596.84379

OS Grid: SU551815

Mapcode National: GBR 91Q.V15

Mapcode Global: VHCYV.1SCJ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in the north-west corner of Town Copse

Scheduled Date: 24 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009456

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19027

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Aldworth

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Aldworth

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the remains of a bowl barrow to the north of the
Ridgeway and on the edge of an east facing chalk escarpment above and to the
west of the River Thames. The barrow survives as a well defined mound 18.5m
in diameter and up to 1.6m high. The central area of the mound is slightly
hollowed by an old disturbance 0.2m deep, probably resulting from an early
exploration of the monument. Surrounding the mound is a ditch, from which
material for the mound would have been quarried during its construction. This
has become infilled over the years and survives largely as a buried feature.
However its outer edge can be recognised as a slight earthwork 2.5m out from
the edge of the mound.

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 evidence of past disturbance of the central area of the barrow mound,
much of the round barrow in Town Copse still survives comparatively well with
good potential for the survival of archaeological remains. Environmental
material relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed is
likely to survive as a deposit sealed on the old land surface beneath the
barrow mound.

Source: Historic England

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