Ancient Monuments

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Two bell barrows at Lodge Hill, 400m NNE of Old Callow Down Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bledlow-cum-Saunderton, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6968 / 51°41'48"N

Longitude: -0.8602 / 0°51'36"W

OS Eastings: 478873.68802

OS Northings: 200397.619198

OS Grid: SP788003

Mapcode National: GBR C2W.KBX

Mapcode Global: VHDVQ.1MM3

Entry Name: Two bell barrows at Lodge Hill, 400m NNE of Old Callow Down Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013927

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27123

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Bledlow-cum-Saunderton

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Bledlow with Saunderton and Horsenden

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the buried remains of two Bronze Age bell barrows
situated on the northern slope of Lodge Hill, a prominent knoll which rises
from the low ground to the north of Bledlow Ridge, overlooking the Aylesbury
Vale and the route of the Upper Icknield Way.

The two barrows are separated by a distance of c.25m, and are similar in size.
The mounds have been reduced by ploughing since the 19th century, yet still
survive to a height of approximately 0.5m, having maximum diameters of c.22m.
These are surrounded by level areas, or berms, measuring some 5m in width. The
berms are in turn encircled by buried ditches, c.2m in width, from which
the material for the mounds was quarried. The ditches and berms are visible as
cropmarks and have been recorded by aerial photography.

The northern barrow was partially excavated in 1933 revealing fragments of
Bronze Age pottery, flint implements, antler, patches of charcoal and pieces
of human bone. Traces of an excavation undertaken in 1855 were also
discovered, although no records of this earlier work remain. A human scapula
(shoulder bone) was also retrieved from the southern barrow, where it had been
unearthed by burrowing animals. A subsequent minor excavation of this mound
resulted in the recovery of small fragments of human skull.

The two bell barrows form part of a dispersed group of similar monuments which
extends across the valley on a north west-south east alignment between Wain
Hill (c.1.5km to the north west) and Saunderton Station (4km to the south
east), the nearest example lying some 500m to the south west near the summit
of Lodge Hill. The alignment is thought to reflect the route of a prehistoric

The surface of the farm track which crosses the western edge of the northern
barrow is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath this
feature 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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite being reduced by cultivation, the two bell barrows at Lodge Hill will
retain significant archaeological information as indicated by the minor
excavations in the 1930s, which are all the more valuable given the rarity of
this class of monument. Funerary remains surviving in buried features within
the area of the mounds will illustrate the function of the monuments and the
beliefs of the community which built them. Further remains, both funerary and
otherwise, may also be found in the fill of the surrounding ditches and in the
area of the berms. This will include environmental evidence relating to the
landscape in which the barrows were set.

The bell barrows' association with the dispersed group of round barrows
aligned across the valley is highly significant for the study of prehistoric
settlement in the Chiltern Hills, demonstrating both the variety of Bronze Age
burial practices in the area and indicating the route of a contemporary

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1959), 23
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, (1959), 23
AP plot filed in Bucks SMR, Allen, D, 007/008, (1979)
AP plot filed with Bucks SMR, Allen, D, 0007/0008, (1979)
Details of adjacent Neo/BA/IA site, 0648,
Details of Lodge Hill bowl barrow, 0652,
Details of Neo/BA/IA settlement, 0648,
Details of the Lodge Hill bowl barrow, 0652,
Excavators' notes filed with SMR, Colmer, F and Head, J, 0007/0008, (1934)
Excavators' notes held by Bucks SMR, Colmer, F & Head, J, 0008, (1934)
Letter from J Head to M E Farley, Head, J, Two Round Barrows - Saunderton Lee, (1973)
Letter from J Head to M E Farley, Head, J, Two Round Barrows - Saunderton Lee, (1973)
Matthews, C L and Wainwright, A, National Trust Archaeological Survey - Bradenham, (1990)
Oblique held by Bucks Museum Service, Allen, G W G, 1040, (1937)
Oblique held by Bucks Museum Service, Allen, G W G, 1040, (1937)
Oblique held by Bucks Museum Service, Whiteman Thame, P D, SP 78 00, (1973)
Oblique held by Bucks Museums Service, Whiteman Thame, P D, SP 78 00, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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