Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows at Gurnetfields Furzebrake

A Scheduled Monument in Beaulieu, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8399 / 50°50'23"N

Longitude: -1.4683 / 1°28'5"W

OS Eastings: 437533.666456

OS Northings: 104620.947085

OS Grid: SU375046

Mapcode National: GBR 777.7M1

Mapcode Global: FRA 76TW.7SK

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows at Gurnetfields Furzebrake

Scheduled Date: 9 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012534

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20253

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Beaulieu

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire


This monument includes two bowl barrows situated on a small south-facing
promontory overlooking the marshy valley bottom of Shepton Water. The
southern barrow mound measures 17m in diameter and stands up to 1.7m high on
the south side and 0.2m high on the north. A shallow hollow in the mound
centre suggests previous robbing or partial early excavation. 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 northern barrow is situated 14m north of the first and measures 13m in
diameter and stands up to 0.6m high on the south side and 0.2m high on the
north. Three small slit trenches, cut into the mound centre, suggest previous
partial excavation. The encircling ditch survives as a buried feature c.1.5m
wide except on the north-eastern edge of the mound where a slight earthwork is
A relict field system survives a short distance west of the site.

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 evidence for partial excavation, the two bowl barrows at Gurnetfields
Furzebrake survive comparatively well adjacent to a heavily waterlogged area,
making it likely that environmental evidence may survive relating to the
landscape in which the monument was constructed. Furthermore, the monument
survives within the New Forest which is known to have been important in terms
of lowland Bronze Age occupation. A considerable amount of archaeological
evidence has survived in this area because of a lack of agricultural activity,
the result of later climatic deterioration, development of heath and the
establishment of a Royal Forest.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T C, Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), 1988,
Hampshire County Planning Department, SU30SE7,

Source: Historic England

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