Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 900m north east of Crow Hall: one of a group of round barrows on Harpley Common

A Scheduled Monument in Bircham, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8243 / 52°49'27"N

Longitude: 0.6098 / 0°36'35"E

OS Eastings: 575936.924451

OS Northings: 328386.973512

OS Grid: TF759283

Mapcode National: GBR Q5P.YTC

Mapcode Global: WHKQ2.B8LN

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 900m north east of Crow Hall: one of a group of round barrows on Harpley Common

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1926

Last Amended: 30 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010574

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21337

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Bircham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Harpley St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow which is one of a dispersed group of round
barrows, sited on a broad ridge at the western edge of the Good Sands upland
region of north west Norfolk. The barrow stands in a prominent position 50m
east of Peddars Way and is visible as a flat-topped mound c.3m high, covering
a subcircular area measuring c.29m north east-south west by 27m north west-
south east. The mound is surrounded by a ditch which has become infilled but
which survives as a buried feature, formerly marked by a slight hollow in the
ground surface. The identification of the monument as a barrow is confirmed by
records of a limited excavation carried out by F C Lukis, who in 1843 opened a
trench c.2.75m wide on the south side of the mound. He observed parts of an
urn or urns, as well as deposits of cremated bone and charcoal, and also noted
that the prehistoric ground surface was preserved beneath the mound.

The barrow group as a whole is aligned on a north west-south east axis over
a distance of c.2.6km.

MAP EXTRACT
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
protection.

The bowl barrow 900m north east of Crow Hall is part of one of the principal
barrow groups surviving in north west Norfolk, and retains archaeological
information which has additional interest in this context. It remains in
itself an impressive monument and, although it has undergone limited
excavation in the past, the scale of the disturbance is relatively small.
Evidence for the construction of the barrow and for the manner and duration of
its use, as well as for the local environment at the time, will be contained
in the mound, in the soil buried beneath the mound and in the fill of the
buried ditch. The barrow group as a whole is of wider importance for the
study of the character and development of the prehistoric population of the
area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
MS notebook in Guernsey Museum, Lukis, FC, (1843)
Watson, A Q, 3527: North West Norfolk, Harpley, (1935)

Source: Historic England

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