Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow at Molin's Works, part of the Saunderton Lee round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Bledlow-cum-Saunderton, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6807 / 51°40'50"N

Longitude: -0.8339 / 0°50'2"W

OS Eastings: 480717.716607

OS Northings: 198633.556136

OS Grid: SU807986

Mapcode National: GBR D4G.L00

Mapcode Global: VHDVX.H0HX

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Molin's Works, part of the Saunderton Lee round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013955

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27122

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 a Bronze Age bowl barrow situated
within the grounds of Molin's Works, which is located in broad valley
between Bledlow Ridge and Callows Hill. Approximately 70% of the monument lies
beneath an area of lawn on the factory's Haw Lane; the remaining part is
overlain by a modern building.

Although no earthworks can now be seen on the ground, the barrow appeared as a
substantial earthwork until the late 19th century, after which it was reduced
by ploughing. The mound was partially excavated in 1858, and is shown on the
first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map (1885), measuring
approximately 28m in diameter. The southern third of the barrow's total area
(including the surrounding ditch) lies beneath a modern factory building. This
construction has not affected the central burial area and further buried
remains, including the encircling ditch, are considered to remain
substantially intact and to retain valuable archaeological information.

The barrow forms part of a small round barrow cemetery which includes a bell
barrow and three bowl barrows (the subject of separate schedulings) situated
in the ploughed fields immediately to the north, and a further bowl barrow
recorded in the 1960s which is now overlain by factory buildings. This
cemetery, in turn, forms part of a wider alignment of barrows which extends
across the valley from Saunderton Station (0.5km to the south east) to Wain
Hill (some 3.5km to the north west). The alignment is thought to reflect the
route of a prehistoric trackway which, given the topographical position of the
Saunderton Lee cemetery, appears to follow a shallow coombe immediately to the
west before continuing northwards around the western side of Lodge Hill.
Further prehistoric activity in the immediate area is demonstrated by the
number of worked flint artefacts, of approximately the same period as the
barrow, which have been recovered from the fields to the north west and south
of the factory.

The new building overlying the southern part of the barrow is 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 5 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 bowl barrow on the north west side of the Molin's Works is no
longer visible as an earthwork, the buried features will survive well and
will retain significant archaeological information. Funerary remains will
survive in buried features within the area of the mound, illustrating the
function of the monument and the beliefs of the community which built it. The
encircling ditch (now infilled) from which the mound material was quarried
will also survive, containing further funerary remains and other artefacts, as
well as environmental evidence which will provide information on the landscape
in which it was set.

The association between this barrow and the other barrows which comprise the
cemetery centred on Saunderton Lee is highly significant for the study of
prehistoric activity in the Chiltern Hills. Comparison between the monuments
will provide an insight into the variety of burial practices employed in this
area and the duration of the associated settlements.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Head, J F, Early Man in South Buckinghamshire, (1955), 49-53
Burgess, W, 'Records of Bucks' in Antiquities of the Chiltern Hills, , Vol. 1, (1848), 22
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, , Vol. 116, (1959), 2-24
5649 Round Barrow cemetery,
B.C.M. Accessions Register, (1972)
Matthews, C L and Wainwright, A, National Trust Archaeological Survey - Bradenham, (1990)
Ordnance Survey Record card, NKB, SU 89 NW 07, (1972)
RCHM, The Monuments of Buckinghamshire,
Title: Ordnance Survey 6"
Source Date: 1885

Source: Historic England

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