Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Free Down, 550m south of Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ringwould with Kingsdown, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1739 / 51°10'25"N

Longitude: 1.3816 / 1°22'53"E

OS Eastings: 636472.878636

OS Northings: 147063.558663

OS Grid: TR364470

Mapcode National: GBR X2H.843

Mapcode Global: VHLH5.WRSG

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Free Down, 550m south of Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1955

Last Amended: 18 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012223

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12834

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Ringwould with Kingsdown

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows each of which comprises an
earthen mound encircled by a now-infilled quarry ditch. It also includes the
area between the barrows which excavations on comparable sites have shown to
be the location of further burials without covering mounds.
The north-eastern example measures 17m in diameter and stands to a maximum
height of 1.8m on the western side, diminishing to 0.5m on the eastern side
as the ground level rises. There is no clear indication of the position of
the ditch, which has been infilled by soil washed from the mound.
Its near neighbour to the south-west has a slightly truncated mound
measuring 19m NE-SW by 12m SE-NW and standing to 2.1m at its highest point.
The oval shape is considered to be the result of changes caused by
agricultural practices; the mound was originally circular. Like its
neighbour, this example has no visible surrounding ditch, soil from the
mound having filled it.
Both of these barrows were partially excavated in 1872 by C. Woodruff and
subsequently carefully reinstated. In the south-western mound were found
four inverted pottery vessels containing ashes of cremated individuals as
well as miniature pots and beads of blue glass-like material known as
faience. Fragments of pottery were found in the north-eastern of the two

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 the barrows were disturbed by the partial excavations in 1872, they
were not fully investigated before being reinstated and significant
proportions of the barrows survive intact. The monument therefore has the
potential to provide further evidence on the nature and duration of use of
the barrows and of the environment in which they were constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Woodruff, C, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Archaeologia Cantiana, , Vol. IX, (), 16-30
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
SMR No. TR 34 NE,

Source: Historic England

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