Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on High Down, 370m west of Tennyson's Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Totland, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6669 / 50°40'1"N

Longitude: -1.5462 / 1°32'46"W

OS Eastings: 432167.154432

OS Northings: 85351.145056

OS Grid: SZ321853

Mapcode National: GBR 67X.5WZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 77N9.TNZ

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on High Down, 370m west of Tennyson's Beacon

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 9 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010511

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12334

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 two bowl barrows aligned north-south and set on the
crest of a prominent chalk ridge which runs east-west across the island. The
southern barrow mound is 9.5m across and 0.6m high. Partial excavation of the
mound by the Reverend Skinner in 1817 produced a cremation burial in a ceramic
urn. Some 5m to the north is a further barrow mound 10.5m in diameter and
0.8m high. Excavation in 1817 produced an urn containing charcoal while more
recently bronze spearheads and bone fragments have been recovered in spoil
from a rabbit burrow on the north side of the mound. Although no longer
visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was quarried during
construction of the monument, surrounds the mounds and survives as a buried
feature c.2m wide.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 in 1817 and the continued disturbance by animal
burrowing, both of the High Down barrows have potential for the recovery of
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the period in
which the monument was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'PROC OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT NATURAL HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY SOC' in Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaelogical Society, (1940), 194

Source: Historic England

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