Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows 700m east of Tolsford Plantation on Tolsford Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Saltwood, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1037 / 51°6'13"N

Longitude: 1.0826 / 1°4'57"E

OS Eastings: 615904.091145

OS Northings: 138340.922402

OS Grid: TR159383

Mapcode National: GBR V06.QJ6

Mapcode Global: VHLHD.QJ68

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 700m east of Tolsford Plantation on Tolsford Hill

Scheduled Date: 19 October 1964

Last Amended: 25 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012271

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12807

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Saltwood

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes a pair of closely-spaced burial mounds or
barrows, each with an encircling ditch. The more easterly of the two
mounds is 17m in diameter and survives to a height of 1.4m. On the east
side of the mound is a hollow area 2.5m across which is the most easily
visible segment of the surrounding ditch which continues around the
entire mound.
Some 20m west of the eastern example are the disturbed remains of the
second barrow. The mound of this western example has been damaged by
mortar-fire when the hill crest was used for live firing. The surviving
upstanding area is some 10m by 7m in size and stands to a height of
around 1m. This represents about one-third of the original extent of the
barrow mound. The ditch surrounding the mound, however, survives to a
much greater extent, although its course is difficult to trace owing to
the undulations caused by the mortar rounds. The overall diameter of
the monument is 56m by 21m.

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 the monument has been disturbed in the course of military
training, both barrows are considered to retain significant
archaeological potential. They also form part of a cluster of similar
monuments on Tolsford Hill which together show the importance of the
locality for burial in the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spurrell, F, 'Arch Journal' in Arch Journal, , Vol. 40, (1883), 292
Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Bowl barrows, 1988,

Source: Historic England

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