Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Bowl barrow: part of a barrow cemetery in Holden's Firs

A Scheduled Monument in Stratfield Mortimer, West Berkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.3816 / 51°22'53"N

Longitude: -1.0753 / 1°4'31"W

OS Eastings: 464450.490373

OS Northings: 165137.809771

OS Grid: SU644651

Mapcode National: GBR B54.BY7

Mapcode Global: VHCZP.9JXP

Entry Name: Bowl barrow: part of a barrow cemetery in Holden's Firs

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1928

Last Amended: 21 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012427

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12231

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Stratfield Mortimer

Built-Up Area: Mortimer

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Stratfield Mortimer

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on high level ground between the
River Kennet to the north and Foudry Brook to the south. The barrow mound is
25m in diameter and is 1m high. Surrounding the barrow mound is a ditch, from
which mound material was quarried. This survives as a low earthwork 4m wide
and 0.3m deep to the south-west of the mound, and as a buried feature
The monument is an outlier to a barrow cemetery located in and around
Holden's Firs.

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. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy
prominent locations makes them 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 protection.

The Holden's Firs barrow is important as it survives comparatively well and,
despite disturbance to the barrow mound by afforestation, has potential for
the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence. The significance
of the site is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within a dispersed
barrow cemetery. Such monuments give an indication of the intensity with
which areas were settled during prehistory and provide evidence for the range
of beliefs and nature of social organisation in the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Berkshire SMR, 1020.07,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.