Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow known as Three Halfpenny Hill: part of a barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath

A Scheduled Monument in Kelling, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.9366 / 52°56'11"N

Longitude: 1.0899 / 1°5'23"E

OS Eastings: 607742.308234

OS Northings: 342160.340192

OS Grid: TG077421

Mapcode National: GBR T8Z.SFK

Mapcode Global: WHLQV.QG62

Entry Name: Bowl barrow known as Three Halfpenny Hill: part of a barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 30 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013565

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21363

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Kelling

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Salthouse St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes the bowl barrow known as Three Halfpenny Hill, within a
dispersed round barrow cemetery which extends over an area of c.1.3 sq km on
and immediately around Salthouse Heath. The barrow is situated on the parish
boundary at the eastern edge of Salthouse Heath and is visible as an earthen
mound encircled by a ditch and bank. The mound stands to a height of c.2m and
covers a roughly circular area c.25m in diameter. The surrounding ditch, which
was dug during the construction of the barrow and has become partly infilled,
is c.4m wide, and the bank around its outer edge is c.5m wide at the base,
with a maximum height of c.0.4m. The overall diameter of the visible
earthworks is therefore c.43m. The bank on the eastern side of the barrow has
been levelled, where it was at one time crossed by a track which ran along the
parish boundary. A description of the barrow in the mid-19th century refers to
a second, outer ditch which can no longer be seen, but which will survive as a
buried feature. A small pottery vessel c.10cm high, of prehistoric type, was
recovered from near the surface of the mound at its north western edge, when
Mr Bolding of Weybourne carried out a limited investigation of the barrow in
The field boundary fence on the eastern side of the monument is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 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 barrow known as Three Halfpenny Hill survives well and the component
earthworks remain in a particularly good state of preservation, despite having
undergone some disturbance from a 19th century antiquarian investigation. This
disturbance was on a small scale in relation to the monument as a whole, which
retains archaeological information concerning the construction of the barrow
and the manner and duration of its use. Evidence for the local environment
prior to and during that time will also be contained in the soils buried
beneath the mound and outer bank and in the fill of the ditches. The barrow is
one of the largest and most elaborate in external form of all those within the
cemetery which is, in turn, the largest round barrow cemetery in Norfolk. It
is apparent, in the evidence from this and other barrows in the vicinity, that
the cemetery was in use over several centuries and includes a considerable
diversity in the forms and rites of burial. The evidence contained in the
barrows as a group therefore has a wider importance for the study of the
character and development of the prehistoric population of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Chester, G J, 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Account of the Discovery of Ancient British Remains near Cromer, , Vol. 5, (1859), 264

Source: Historic England

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