Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 250m ESE of St Lawrence's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Harpley, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.8017 / 52°48'6"N

Longitude: 0.6558 / 0°39'20"E

OS Eastings: 579133.318344

OS Northings: 325992.54987

OS Grid: TF791259

Mapcode National: GBR Q64.BMG

Mapcode Global: WHKQ3.1TKZ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 250m ESE of St Lawrence's Church

Scheduled Date: 2 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010573

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21336

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Harpley

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Harpley St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a bowl barrow located on a south facing slope on the
east side of Harpley village. It lies midway between two dispersed barrow
groups, which are sited along a north west-south east axis across Harpley
Common and West Rudham Common over a total distance of c.10km. The barrow is
visible as an earthen mound c.1.7m high, covering a roughly circular area with
a diameter of c.28m. The sides of the mound are somewhat spread to the north
and east, giving it a slightly asymmetrical profile. The mound is encircled
by a ditch which has become infilled, although part of it on the north and
west side is visible as a slight hollow, c.2m wide and c.0.2m deep, in the
ground surface. The barrow was at one time utilised as a garden feature, and
slight brick foundations which are visible a little to north and east of the
centre are the remains of a summer house which was erected on it. A modern
boundary fence which crosses the southern skirts of the mound, and another on
the eastern edge of the monument, are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath these features 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 250m ESE of St Lawrence's Church survives well and later use
as a garden feature has caused no more than superficial disturbance. The
monument will retain archaeological information concerning the construction of
the barrow and for the manner and duration of its use, and evidence for the
local environment at and prior to that time will be preserved in the fill of
the ditch and in soils buried beneath the mound. The proximity and
topographical relationship of the barrow to two important barrow groups give
it additional interest. Together, these barrows provide some evidence of the
character, development and density of the prehistoric population in this area.

Source: Historic England


3532: West Norfolk, Harpley,
Title: Ordnance Survey 25"
Source Date: 1904

Source: Historic England

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