Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 300m south of Finger Post Plantation: part of Great Bircham barrow group

A Scheduled Monument in Bircham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.8483 / 52°50'53"N

Longitude: 0.6332 / 0°37'59"E

OS Eastings: 577421.710178

OS Northings: 331111.159438

OS Grid: TF774311

Mapcode National: GBR Q5J.JWM

Mapcode Global: WHKPW.PNRT

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 300m south of Finger Post Plantation: part of Great Bircham barrow group

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1926

Last Amended: 27 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010563

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21350

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Bircham

Built-Up Area: Great Bircham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: The Birchams and Bagthorpe

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a bowl barrow which is the northernmost of three round
barrows aligned north west-south east on level ground above a slight north
east facing slope. They stand on what was once heathland in the Good Sands
region of upland north west Norfolk. The barrow is visible as an earthen
mound c.1.8m high and covering a circular area c.28m in diameter. Records of
the barrow as it appeared in the 1930s confirm that the mound is encircled by
a ditch, marked at that time by a hollow up to 4.5m wide and 0.6m deep in the
ground surface. The ditch, from which earth was dug and used in the
construction of the barrow, has now become completely infilled but survives
as a buried feature. The barrow mound was investigated during limited
excavations on the barrow group in 1842.
The posts of a fence set around the foot of the mound are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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

The bowl barrow 300m south of Finger Post Plantation survives well. The
antiquarian investigation of the mound was limited in extent, and
archaeological information concerning the construction of the barrow and the
manner and duration of its use, as well as evidence for the local environment
at that time, will be contained in the barrow mound, in the soils buried
beneath the mound and in the fill of the buried ditch. The monument and the
information it retains have additional interest and importance in relation to
the two round barrows to the south of it and another, 370m to the north, which
forms part of the same group.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lukis, F C, A Brief Account of the Barrows near Bircham Magna, Norfolk, (1843)
1705: West Norfolk, Bircham,

Source: Historic England

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