Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 670m north east of Crow Hall: one of a group of round barrows on Harpley Common

A Scheduled Monument in Flitcham with Appleton, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.8202 / 52°49'12"N

Longitude: 0.6126 / 0°36'45"E

OS Eastings: 576143.508874

OS Northings: 327941.031559

OS Grid: TF761279

Mapcode National: GBR Q5W.5PW

Mapcode Global: WHKQ2.CCYS

Entry Name: Bell barrow 670m 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: 1010577

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21340

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Flitcham with Appleton

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Harpley St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a bell 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 70m east of Peddars Way and
is visible as an earthen mound c.1m high and c.12m in diameter, surrounded by
a berm c.6m wide on a raised earthen platform up to c.0.8m in height and
covering a circular area c.23m in diameter. The platform is surrounded by a
ditch up to 4m wide which has become infilled but which survives as a buried
feature. The monument has an overall diameter of c.31m.
The barrow group as a whole is aligned on a north west-south east axis over
a distance of c.2.6km.

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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

The bell barrow 670m north east of Crow Hall is of an unusual form, in that
the central mound is set upon a raised platform - not normally a feature of
this class of monument which is, in any case, rare in Norfolk. The barrow
survives well and will retain archaeological information which has additional
interest in the context of one of the principal round barrow groups in north
west Norfolk. Evidence for the construction of the barrow, the date and manner
of its use, and also the local environment at that 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


Books and journals
Lawson, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in , , Vol. 2, (1976), 49-62
3531: West Norfolk, Harpley,

Source: Historic England

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