Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow at Knocking Knoll, 640m east of Pegsdon Common Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Shillington, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9664 / 51°57'58"N

Longitude: -0.3519 / 0°21'6"W

OS Eastings: 513326.365134

OS Northings: 231049.678074

OS Grid: TL133310

Mapcode National: GBR H5L.MVW

Mapcode Global: VHFR2.VTCY

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Knocking Knoll, 640m E of Pegsdon Common Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1955

Last Amended: 20 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010367

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20419

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Shillington

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Hexton

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The barrow is a mound about 30m in diameter and almost 3m high. The mound is
hemispherical in shape except on its east side where it is slightly truncated
by the field boundary. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch
from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument,
surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but
survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The barrow is located at the crest of
a ridge of the Chilterns and within 1km of the Icknield Way. A number of
barrows were documented in the area by the 18th century antiquarian, William
Stukeley and in 1856 the barrow was partially excavated by William Ransom of
Hitchin. Pottery from the site is held in the Hitchin Museum. A second round
barrow is located 600m to the south, in Tingley Field Plantation.

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

The barrow at Knocking Knoll lies within proximity of another large barrow at
Tingley Field Plantation. Although partly excavated, this barrow retains
considerable potential for the survival of archaeological evidence within the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ashbee, P, The Earthern Long Barrow in Britain, (1970)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough, (1968)
Stukeley, W, Itinerarium Curiosum, I, (1724)
Dyer, J, 'B.A.J.' in Field system survey of Knocking Hoe National Nature Reserve, , Vol. 2, (1964)
White, R.J., Beds. SMR 414, references 15 and 17, (1978)

Source: Historic England

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