Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow in Birch Grove, Martlesham Heath

A Scheduled Monument in Martlesham, Suffolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.056 / 52°3'21"N

Longitude: 1.2742 / 1°16'27"E

OS Eastings: 624569.445692

OS Northings: 244794.008822

OS Grid: TM245447

Mapcode National: GBR VPC.4YZ

Mapcode Global: VHLBW.1LH7

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Birch Grove, Martlesham Heath

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1960

Last Amended: 21 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013435

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21269

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Martlesham

Built-Up Area: Kesgrave

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Brightwell St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Details

The monument includes a small bowl barrow situated in a private garden on what
was once wooded heathland and formerly visible as an earthen mound encircled
by a ditch. Since 1989 the barrow has been obscured as a result of the
dumping of soil on and around it, so as to raise the level of the surrounding
surface, and of the removal of approximately 0.15m of material from the top of
the mound. The mound is recorded as covering an area 8.5m in diameter and as
having stood to a height of between 0.5m and 0.8m, with a slight hollow in the
surface which marked the site of an old excavation. The ditch, from which
material was dug and used in the construction of the mound, had become largely
infilled, but was visible as a slight depression in the ground surface on the
south east side of the mound.

MAP EXTRACT
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
protection.

Although the bowl barrow at Birch Grove, Martlesham Heath has been buried and
partly reduced, the greater part of the mound remains in the condition
recorded prior to 1989 and the surrounding ditch survives as a buried feature.
These records confirm that the monument survives well. Evidence concerning
the construction of the barrow and the manner and duration of its use, as well
as the local environment at that time, will be contained in the mound, in the
soils preserved beneath it, and in the fill of the buried ditch. The monument
is one of a large group of barrows recorded on and around Martlesham Heath,
including three which survive as visible monuments within a distance of 425m
to south and east.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Healy F, AM107 (1985), (1985)
Record of visit to assess damage, BGL 009, (1989)
Robertson-Mackay, R, AM7, (1959)

Source: Historic England

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