Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow, known as the `Round Hill', 440m WNW of College Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Roxton, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.1814 / 52°10'53"N

Longitude: -0.3213 / 0°19'16"W

OS Eastings: 514874.862727

OS Northings: 255012.674178

OS Grid: TL148550

Mapcode National: GBR H33.9KM

Mapcode Global: VHGML.DF0L

Entry Name: Bowl barrow, known as the `Round Hill', 440m WNW of College Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013521

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27112

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Roxton

Built-Up Area: Roxton

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Roxton

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in a prominent position on high
ground to the north west of the village of Roxton and the junction of the
Rivers Great Ouse and Ivel. The barrow mound stands amidst a wide area of
cultivated fields and is a conspicuous local landmark. It is circular in plan,
measuring about 21m in diameter, and survives to a height of approximately
1.7m, with steep sloping sides descending from a level area on the summit
which measures 10m across.
The barrow, which is apparently unexcavated, is thought to be an outlying
example associated with a pattern of Bronze Age barrows located along the
gravel terraces flanking the River Great Ouse. Unlike the `Round Hill',
however, most of these are only visible as cropmarks which have been recorded
from the air. This distribution, which comprises some 200 monuments in the
upper and middle sections of the Great Ouse Valley, included a group of five
on the north side of the junction of the Rivers Great Ouse and Ivel (some 2km
south east of the Round Hill). These were excavated in the early 1970s, prior
to gravel extraction, and found to contain burials dating from c.1800 BC.
A fieldwalking programme undertaken in the late 1970s identified a pattern of
broadly contemporary worked flint which concentrated on this barrow group and
extended up the side of the river valley to the west of Roxton. The limit of
this survey area came within 500m of the Round Hill.
The fence surrounding the monument is excluded from the scheduling although
the ground beneath is included.

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

The bowl barrow known as the Round Hill is very well preserved when compared
to the majority of barrows within the Great Ouse Valley. The mound stands
close to its original height and there is no evidence that it has ever been
excavated. Funerary remains will survive undisturbed within and below the
mound enabling valuable insights into early burial practices and the beliefs
of the community which constructed the monument. The former ground surface
which lies buried beneath the mound will retain evidence for the appearance of
the landscape at the time it was built.
The position of the Round Hill within a wider group of similar monuments is of
particular interest. Together these provide important information concerning
the variation and development of prehistoric burial practices, and the
distribution of early settlement along the course of the River Great Ouse.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wadmore, B, The Earthworks of Bedfordshire, (1920), 259-261
Field, K, 'The Archaeological Journal' in Ring Ditches of the Upper and Middle Great Ouse Valley, , Vol. 131, (1974), 58-74
Meaney, A L, 'Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society' in Hundred and Wapentake Meeting Places of the Cambridge Region, , Vol. LXXXII, (1993), 67-92
Woodward, P J, 'The Archaeological Journal' in Flint Distribution, Ring Ditches & Settlement in Gt. Ouse Valley, , Vol. 135, (1978), 32-56
Beds CC SMR notes, 14410: Wood End DMV,
Notes on site visit, White, R, 1492: Round Hill, Roxton, (1978)
Roxton enclosure map, CRO MA 44/1, (1813)

Source: Historic England

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