Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Headon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Totland, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6717 / 50°40'18"N

Longitude: -1.5592 / 1°33'32"W

OS Eastings: 431247.562267

OS Northings: 85871.100832

OS Grid: SZ312858

Mapcode National: GBR 67Q.W1F

Mapcode Global: FRA 77M9.GDJ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Headon Hill

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1960

Last Amended: 22 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010509

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12333

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Totland

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Totland Bay Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on the crest of a prominent sandy
ridge above Alum Bay. The barrow mound is 25m in diameter and 2.7m high. A
hollow 1.4m deep in the centre of the mound represents an early exploration of
the site, probably in the 19th century. Although no longer visible at ground
level, a ditch from which material was quarried during construction of the
monument, surrounds the mound on all but the north side where gravel workings
have been excavated adjacent to it. The ditch has become infilled over the
years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide.
The wooden fence surrounding the barrow mound and the noticeboards to the east
and west of the mound are excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath
however 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

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

Despite partial excavation of the barrow mound and the proximity of gravel
workings to the monument, the Headon bowl barrow survives well and has
potential for the recovery of archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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