Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery on Rookery Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Seaford, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7907 / 50°47'26"N

Longitude: 0.079 / 0°4'44"E

OS Eastings: 546631.137305

OS Northings: 101071.810538

OS Grid: TQ466010

Mapcode National: GBR LSG.8SZ

Mapcode Global: FRA C710.4L9

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 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: 1009953

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25486

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 a bowl barrow, one of a group of six bowl barrows which
form a north west-south east aligned, linear round barrow cemetery situated
along a spur of the Sussex Downs, around 1.2km to the north of the English
Channel. The barrow has a roughly circular mound up to 15m in diameter, which
survives to a height of up to 1m. The mound has been partially disturbed and
flattened on its south western side by modern ploughing, and a slight hollow
towards its centre indicates that it has 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,
but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.
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 it shows signs of partial damage caused by modern ploughing, past
excavation and scrub growth, the bowl barrow on Rookery Hill survives
comparatively 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 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 occupation dating to the Iron Age, the Roman and
early medieval period, 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


ref. 2, Grinsell, LV, TQ 40 SE 39, (1930)

Source: Historic England

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