Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch, 700m south west of Redhouse Farm: part of a barrow cemetery on Levington Heath.

A Scheduled Monument in Levington, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0166 / 52°0'59"N

Longitude: 1.2754 / 1°16'31"E

OS Eastings: 624847.481136

OS Northings: 240423.09466

OS Grid: TM248404

Mapcode National: GBR VPR.K8H

Mapcode Global: VHLC2.2K3W

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch, 700m south west of Redhouse Farm: part of a barrow cemetery on Levington Heath.

Scheduled Date: 26 May 1960

Last Amended: 22 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011340

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21289

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Levington

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Levington

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes three bowl barrows and a ring ditch within Levington
barrow cemetery, situated on level ground 230m north west of the junction
between the parish boundaries of Levington, to the west, Bucklesham to the
north, and Stratton Hall to the south. The barrows are visible as three low,
earthen mounds, marked also by light coloured, sandy patches in the
ploughsoil, and are spaced approximately 10m apart in a north-south alignment.
Each of the mounds is encircled by a buried ditch which is visible on aerial
photographs. The southernmost mound stands to a height of approximately 0.25m
and covers a circular area approximately 27m in diameter; the middle and
northern mounds respectively measure approximately 0.4m and 0.3m in height,
and cover circular areas approximately 30m in diameter. All three have been
reduced and spread by ploughing. The surrounding ditches, from which earth was
dug during construction of the barrows, have become completely infilled, but
survive as buried features up to 3m wide beneath the ploughsoil and the spread
of the mounds. Approximately 40m west of the northern mound is the site of a
fourth barrow, the buried ditch of which is visible as a cropmark, defining a
circular enclosure approximately 25m in diameter, containing a large, central
pit. Such a feature is known as a ring ditch.

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 three bowl barrows and adjacent ring ditch 700m south west of Redhouse
Farm are components of an important round barrow cemetery. Most of such
cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries,
and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early mediaeval
period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form,
frequently including different types of round barrow and, whenever large scale
investigation has been undertaken, revealing contemporary or later `flat'
graves between the barrow mounds. Although the barrow mounds have been
reduced by ploughing, they retain important archaeological information.
Evidence concerning their construction and the manner and duration of their
use, and also the local environment, at and prior to that time, will be
contained in the soils preserved beneath the mounds and in the fills of the
buried ditches and the central pit within the ring ditch. The Levington Heath
barrow cemetery is part of a larger group of round barrows and circular
ditched enclosures which extend in a line to the north west, over a distance
of 3km, to Seven Hills, Nacton. The parish boundary between Levington and
Nacton, to the south, and Bucklesham and Foxhall, to the north, follows the
same line, showing a relationship which is of particular interest for the
study of the prehistoric and medieval landscape history of the area.

Source: Historic England


AM7, (1959)
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ 30, 31,
Suffolk SMR ACQ30, 31,

Source: Historic England

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