Ancient Monuments

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Twin bell barrow and a bowl barrow on Asdean Down

A Scheduled Monument in Stoughton, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8906 / 50°53'26"N

Longitude: -0.853 / 0°51'10"W

OS Eastings: 480767.701717

OS Northings: 110750.078826

OS Grid: SU807107

Mapcode National: GBR CDS.14W

Mapcode Global: FRA 963R.7HX

Entry Name: Twin bell barrow and a bowl barrow on Asdean Down

Scheduled Date: 11 August 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011598

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20101

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Stoughton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Octagon

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes two bell barrows surrounded by a single ditch and a
separate bowl barrow to the north-east, all situated on the north-facing slope
of a ridge of chalk downland.
The mound of the south-western bell barrow is 17m in diameter and 3m high and
that of the north-eastern barrow is 18m in diameter and 3.5m high. Both mounds
have central hollows which suggest that they were once partially excavated.
Surrounding the mounds is a sloping platform, or berm, a maximum 4m wide on
the south-east side, which is contained by a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the barrows. This has become partially
infilled over the years and now survives as an earthwork 5.5m wide and between
0.5m and 1m deep.
Directly to the north-east of the bell barrows is the bowl barrow. This has a
mound 12m in diameter and 0.7m high, surrounded by a quarry ditch. This too
has become infilled over the years and is now visible as a slight 2.5m wide
depression to the south-west of the mound, the remainder surviving as a buried

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.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, dating from the Late
Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period
2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds and, although
superficially similar, they exhibit regional variations of form and diversity
of burial practice. They occur across most of lowland Britain.
Despite evidence of partial excavation, the twin bell barrow and bowl barrow
on Asdean Down survive well and contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. Twin bell barrows are rare and this is one of the very few
examples in south-east England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 233,247

Source: Historic England

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