Ancient Monuments

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

A Scheduled Monument in Kelling, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.9352 / 52°56'6"N

Longitude: 1.0896 / 1°5'22"E

OS Eastings: 607726.857017

OS Northings: 342001.876216

OS Grid: TG077420

Mapcode National: GBR T8Z.SCG

Mapcode Global: WHLQV.QH15

Entry Name: Bowl barrow known as Three Farthing 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: 1013566

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21364

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 Farthing Hill, which is
on the eastern side of a dispersed round barrow cemetery extending over an
area of c.1.3 sq km. The barrow is situated above an east and south east
facing slope, c.50m from the parish boundary on the eastern side of Salthouse
Heath, and is visible as an earthen mound standing to a height of c.1.4m and
covering a circular area c.15m in diameter. It is thought that the mound is
encircled by a ditch c.2.5m wide, similar to ditches observed around some of
the other barrows in the group. This has become completely infilled and is no
longer visible on the ground surface, but will survive as a buried feature.
The estimated overall diameter of the barrow is therefore 20m. On top of the
mound, at the centre, is a rectangular depression measuring c.4m square which
probably marks the site of an excavation into the mound carried out by
Greville Chester in 1850. The excavators found evidence which confirms the
use of the barrow for burial during the Early to Middle Bronze Age, including
two different types of pottery urn containing cremated bones, and fragments of
a third vessel. Adjacent to the central depression is a partly infilled and
weathered trench c.3m wide, of more recent appearance, dug from the south
eastern edge of the mound towards the centre.

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

Although the barrow known as Three Farthing Hill has undergone excavations,
only c.10% of the total area of the mound has been disturbed by this, and the
monument as a whole survives well. It will retain further information
concerning the construction of the barrow and the manner and duration of its
use, in addition to the evidence recovered in the 19th century investigation.
Evidence for the local environment during the prehistoric period is also
likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound. The barrow is a
component of the largest round barrow cemetery in Norfolk, and has additional
interest in that context. The limited investigations of this and other barrows
in the group have shown 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 these barrows as a group is therefore of 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), 264-266

Source: Historic England

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