Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows 450m north west of Slough Glebe Farm, part of the Saunderton Lee barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Bledlow-cum-Saunderton, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6838 / 51°41'1"N

Longitude: -0.8372 / 0°50'13"W

OS Eastings: 480486.152712

OS Northings: 198972.032762

OS Grid: SU804989

Mapcode National: GBR C33.K4D

Mapcode Global: VHDVQ.FYS3

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 450m north west of Slough Glebe Farm, part of the Saunderton Lee barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 19 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013952

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27119

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 bowl barrows
located on a low ridge within the broad valley between Bledlow Ridge and
Callows Hill, to the west of the railway line between Princes Risborough and
High Wycombe.

Although the earthwork remains are now very slight, the buried ditches
surrounding the barrows from which the material for the mounds was quarried
remain clearly visible as cropmarks from the air and have been recorded on a
series of aerial photographs taken between 1937 and 1981. The barrows are
separated by the intersection of two modern farm tracks and by a distance of
c.36m. The north western barrow measures approximately 42m in diameter
(measured from the outer edge of the encircling ditch), slightly larger than
the second barrow to the south east. Both locations are marked by
concentrations of chalk rubble when the fields are ploughed.

The barrows lie in close proximity to three similar monuments positioned
across the slope to the south east at intervals of between 80m and 100m. This
group forms part of a wider alignment consisting of 10 barrows extending
across the valley from Bradenham (approximately 1km to the south east) towards
Wain Hill (3.5km to the north east). This alignment is thought to reflect the
route of a prehistoric trackway which, from the topographic position of these
two barrows, appears to have run within a shallow vale immediately to the west
before continuing northwards around the western side of Lodge Hill. The two
bowl barrows are apparently unexcavated, although flint implements of the
period have been recovered from the surface of this field and the fields
immediately to the south and west indicating further prehistoric activity.

The surfaces of the farm tracks are 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

Despite being reduced by cultivation, the two bowl barrows 450m north west of
Slough Glebe Farm will retain significant archaeological information. Funerary
remains will survive in buried features within the area of the mounds which
will illustrate the function of the monuments and the beliefs of the community
which built them. Funerary remains and other artefacts may also be found in
the silts of the surrounding ditches, as well as environmental evidence which
will demonstrate the appearance of the landscape in which they were set. The
area between the barrows is of particular interest, since excavations at
comparable sites have demonstrated the likelihood of further burials in such

The associations between these barrows, the others in the immediate group, the
wider alignment of which they form part, and the route of a prehistoric
trackway which their locations imply, are highly significant for the study
of prehistoric settlement within the Chiltern Hills.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Head, J F, Early Man in South Buckinghamshire, (1955), 48
Head, J F, Early Man in South Buckinghamshire, (1955), 48
Aerial sequence 1937-1974, St Joseph, J K S (CUCAP), ARA 43/44,ACT 33/34,AFW 4-5,AST 41/42, BRW 1-5,BMH 84/85,CN 34.,
AP held at Bucks County Museums, Farley, M E, A5/15/5A 6A, (1981)
AP held by Bucks County Museums, Farley, M E, A5/15/5A 6A, (1981)
AP held by Bucks County Museums, Major Allen, 80/98, (1937)
AP held by Bucks Museums Service, Major Allen, SU 80/98, (1937)
AP plot filed under SMR 5649, Allen, D, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton (Molin's Factory) SU 80/98, (1979)
AP sequence 1937-74, St Joseph, J K S (CUCAP), ACT 33-4, AFW 4-5, ARA 43-4, BMH 84-5, BRW 1-5, CN 34,
Bucks County Museums Accessions Register, 1972,
Bucks County Museums Accessions Register, 1972,
Ordnance Survey record card, NKB, SU 89 NW 07, (1972)
Plot of AP information (Bucks Museum), Allen, D, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton (Molin's Factory) SU 80/98, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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