Ancient Monuments

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Three Bowl Barrows in Elhampark Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Elham, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1686 / 51°10'7"N

Longitude: 1.0899 / 1°5'23"E

OS Eastings: 616110.891611

OS Northings: 145581.1466

OS Grid: TR161455

Mapcode National: GBR TZG.LDJ

Mapcode Global: VHLH0.VW1H

Entry Name: Three Bowl Barrows in Elhampark Wood

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1974

Last Amended: 15 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012219

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12818

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Elham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost north-south,
each of which comprises an earthen mound and an encircling ditch, as
well as the archaeologically-sensitive area between them.
The mound of the southernmost, and largest, of the three measures 41m
in diameter and survives to a maximum height of 1.8m. On the western
side the mound has been spread by the creation of a forest ride,
although the mound still survives here to a height of 0.4m. The
surrounding ditch has been infilled by erosion and during arboricultural
activities and is not visible on the surface.
Some 50m NNE of the centre of the first example is a second bowl
barrow the mound of which is 14m in diameter and which stands to a
maximum height of 0.4m. Another 50m NNE of the centre of this barrow is
the third example, 21m across the mound and 0.5m high. In both of the
latter cases the ditch has become infilled with soil and leaf litter so
that it is not visible on the surface.
The barrows and ditches together form a monument approximately 146m
long and 51m wide.

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

Although erosion, animal burrowing and arboricultural activities have spread
the Elhampark Wood barrows to differing extents, in each case they retain
significant archaeological potential since the original ground surface, the
burials which were placed below ground level and the fill of the ditches
survive apparently undisturbed except by tree roots. The close spacing of the
barrows also provides the potential to explore the variability of burial
practice within the related group.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Bowl barrows, 1988,
TR14 NE7, TR14 NE7,

Source: Historic England

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