Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gallows Hill barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.0254 / 52°1'31"N

Longitude: -0.1063 / 0°6'22"W

OS Eastings: 530025.156943

OS Northings: 238021.612653

OS Grid: TL300380

Mapcode National: GBR K7S.XM7

Mapcode Global: VHGNH.3CN6

Entry Name: Gallows Hill barrow

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012408

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20622

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Steeple Morden

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Kelshall

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


Gallows Hill barrow is situated on the top of Gallows Hill at the west end of
a chalk ridge. It is south-east of Odsey and about 500m east of the A505. It
consists of a low mound measuring c.38m north-south by c.35m east-west and
about 1m in height. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument surrounds
the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a
buried feature c.2m 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 slightly disturbed by rabbit burrowing the barrow at Gallows Hill has
never been excavated and as such offers good archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England

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