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Two bowl barrows, the south easternmost pair of a group of six bowl barrows, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery on Rookery Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Seaford, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7888 / 50°47'19"N

Longitude: 0.0805 / 0°4'49"E

OS Eastings: 546741.999177

OS Northings: 100861.960819

OS Grid: TQ467008

Mapcode National: GBR LSG.H4T

Mapcode Global: FRA C710.C5Z

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows, the south easternmost pair of a group of six bowl barrows, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery on Rookery Hill

Scheduled Date: 11 February 1958

Last Amended: 12 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009951

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25484

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Seaford

Built-Up Area: Rookery Hill

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Bishopstone St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes two adjacent bowl barrows, the south easternmost pair
of a group of six bowl barrows which form a north west-south east aligned,
linear round barrow cemetery. The cemetery is situated on a spur of the Sussex
Downs, a location which commands fine views of the surrounding countryside and
the coast to the south west.
The south easterly barrow has a roughly circular mound with a maximum diameter
of 18m, which survives to a height of around 1m. The south western edge of the
mound has been flattened by modern ploughing, and a central hollow indicates
that it has also been partially excavated some time in the past. Surrounding
the mound is a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was
excavated. This has become infilled over the years, and will have been
partially damaged by ploughing to the south west, but survives as a buried
feature around 2m wide.
Lying around 4m to the north west, the second barrow has a sub-circular mound
15m in diameter and 0.75m high, also with a slight hollow in its centre. The
c.2m wide ditch which surrounds the mound has become infilled, and has been
partially damaged on its south western periphery by modern ploughing, but will
survive in buried form beneath the ground.
The modern fence which crosses the monument on its south western side is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-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. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally, and
many more have already been destroyed.
Although they have been partially disturbed by modern ploughing and past
excavation, the pair of barrows on Rookery Hill survive well and will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. The prehistoric round barrow
cemetery, of which the monument forms a part, survives particularly well, and
is one of the best examples of this type of monument to be found on the East
Sussex Downs. These prehistoric barrows are the earliest known structures on
Rookery Hill, and their close association with later monuments, including a
hlaew, or early medieval burial mound, and nearby traces of subsequent human
occupation dating to the Iron Age, the Roman and early medieval periods,
provide evidence for the continuity of burial, settlement, and agriculture in
this area of Downland over a period of at least 3,000 years.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 272

Source: Historic England

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