Ancient Monuments

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Five bowl barrows 200m north east of the radar station: part of a round barrow cemetery on Luccombe Down

A Scheduled Monument in Ventnor, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6051 / 50°36'18"N

Longitude: -1.1932 / 1°11'35"W

OS Eastings: 457191.053933

OS Northings: 78683.149586

OS Grid: SZ571786

Mapcode National: GBR 9DY.Z14

Mapcode Global: FRA 87DG.LZ7

Entry Name: Five bowl barrows 200m north east of the radar station: part of a round barrow cemetery on Luccombe Down

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1967

Last Amended: 16 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010006

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22022

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Ventnor

Built-Up Area: Ventnor

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Wroxall St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes five closely spaced bowl barrows situated on a north-
south orientated ridge on the south east coast of the Isle of Wight. This
group of five barrows lies just off the top of the ridge on a north west
facing slope and forms part of a wider cemetery which includes eleven round
barrows. The barrows have diameters of between 9m and 17m, and range in height
from 0.3m to c.1.5m. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was
quarried during its construction. These ditches have become infilled over the
years and can no longer be seen at ground level, but survive as buried
features c.3m wide.
Of the eleven barrows on Luccombe Down, ten, including the five in this group,
have central depressions indicative of previous excavation; five of the eleven
barrows are known to have been excavated in 1855. Records of the other
excavations are unknown. Those barrows excavated in 1855 contained interments
in baked clay urns surrounded by large flints.

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.

Despite having been partially excavated in the past, the five bowl
barrows north east of the radar station are integral to the Luccombe Down
cemetery and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Whitehead, J C, Undercliff of the Isle of Wight, (1911), 20

Source: Historic England

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