Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Wendover, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.7559 / 51°45'21"N

Longitude: -0.7535 / 0°45'12"W

OS Eastings: 486131.032485

OS Northings: 207093.028047

OS Grid: SP861070

Mapcode National: GBR D3L.VP5

Mapcode Global: VHDVK.W4H7

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Bacombe Hill

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013936

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27133

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Wendover

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Wendover

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a small bowl barrow located in a prominent position on
Bacombe Hill, overlooking Wendover to the north east, the Vale of Aylesbury to
the north and the upper part of the Misbourne valley to the south east.
The circular mound measures approximately 10m in diameter and 0.6m high. There
is no evidence of a quarry ditch, and the mound is believed to be of `scraped'
construction, using turf and topsoil from the surrounding area. The barrow
lies in close proximity to a larger bell barrow and an associated pond barrow,
located some 55m to the north east (the subject of a separate scheduling).

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 on Bacombe Hill survives well as a landscape feature and, in
the absence of previous investigation, archaeological deposits within and
beneath the mound will remain largely undisturbed. These will include funerary
remains illustrating the date and function of the monument and the beliefs of
the community which built it; and evidence preserved in the earlier ground
surface buried beneath the mound which may indicate the character of the
landscape in which it was constructed. Comparison with the two other classes
of barrow nearby will provide evidence for the development of early ritual
practices and assist in the study of Bronze Age settlement in the Chiltern

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, , Vol. 116, (1959), 23-24
Field notes: M. Farley. 1992, 0011,
info from Chilterns Project Officer, Damant, C, Bacombe Hill, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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