Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow on Horsell Common immediately east of Monument Road

A Scheduled Monument in Canalside, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.328 / 51°19'40"N

Longitude: -0.5429 / 0°32'34"W

OS Eastings: 501617.937098

OS Northings: 159773.733874

OS Grid: TQ016597

Mapcode National: GBR GCR.ML3

Mapcode Global: VHFV2.JWVB

Entry Name: Bell barrow on Horsell Common immediately east of Monument Road

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1934

Last Amended: 30 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009485

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20149

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Canalside

Built-Up Area: Woking

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Woodham

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on low lying ground in the
Bagshot sands. It has a central mound 20m in diameter and 1.1m high,
with a central hollow suggesting that the barrow was once partially excavated.
Around the mound is a flat platform, or berm, up to 4.5m wide, which is
contained by a circular ditch 3m wide and 0.3m deep. Beyond this is an outer
bank which survives to the north and east of the mound between 3.5m and 4m
wide and 0.3m high.
The fence, the fenced and bricked area and the tarmac carpark surface to the
south of the mound and the gravel carpark surface, fence and gates to the west
are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these
features is included.
The bell barrow is one of a group of three closely-spaced barrows surviving in
this area, a further bell barrow and a disc barrow being situated c.100m to
the west.

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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite some evidence of partial excavation the majority of the bell barrow
east of Monument Road on Horsell Common survives well and is one of the finest
examples of a bell barrow in Surrey. It contains archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed which along with evidence from associated burial monuments
gives an indication as to the nature and scale of Bronze Age settlement in the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Some Surrey Bell-Barrows, , Vol. 40, (1932), 62
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, , Vol. 79, (1987), 38

Source: Historic England

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