Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on eastern summit of Combe Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Ratton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7986 / 50°47'54"N

Longitude: 0.2362 / 0°14'10"E

OS Eastings: 557684.149128

OS Northings: 102273.821279

OS Grid: TQ576022

Mapcode National: GBR MTT.SMS

Mapcode Global: FRA C6CZ.KTX

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on eastern summit of Combe Hill

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 4 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012482

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12875

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Ratton

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Jevington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a bowl barrow which comprises a mound and a surrounding
ditch. The mound measures 17m across and stands to a height of 1.6m. The
surrounding ditch, which has been infilled by soil eroded from the mound, is
visible as a hollow some 2m across around the foot of the mound. The hollow
in the summit of the mound indicates that the mound was partially excavated in
the 19th century.
The diameter of the mound and ditch together is 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

Despite the limited damage to the barrow mound caused by partial excavation,
the monument on the eastern summit of Combe Hill still survives well and
retains significant archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of
the nature and duration of its use and of the environment in which it was
constructed. The barrow demonstrates the continuity of the use of Combe Hill
after the abandonment of the nearby Neolithic enclosure.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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