Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on southern edge of Dunseal Wood, 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Abbey Dore, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 51.9995 / 51°59'58"N

Longitude: -2.8882 / 2°53'17"W

OS Eastings: 339117.137069

OS Northings: 233822.19474

OS Grid: SO391338

Mapcode National: GBR FC.J65H

Mapcode Global: VH78H.W0GJ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on southern edge of Dunseal Wood, 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014110

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27502

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Abbey Dore

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Abbeydore

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a bowl barrow,
situated on the edge of an escarpment which slopes steeply north eastwards
into Dunseal Wood. The remains include an earthen mound built on the end of a
natural ridge extending from the south east. The mound enhances the ridge to a
height of 2.5m at its north west end, sloping away to a maximum of 0.8m above
the natural surface of the ridge. The mound has a maximum diameter of 14m,
although its extent is difficult to discern where it blends in with the slope;
this is particularly true of the south east end, where thick brambles and
bracken obscure the contours of the ridge itself. There are three mature trees
at the base of the mound to the north west, and one on the summit. To the
north east there is a narrow flat edge around the mound before the ground
falls away steeply into the wood. In the north west quarter a gate marks the
end of a path which defines the edge of the wood along the same alignment as
the ridge itself. Along the outside edge of this path is an earthen bank,
c.1.5m wide by 0.6m high, with small trees and brambles along its top. The
bank follows the western edge of the barrow at a distance of c.1.5m, then
makes a right angled turn c.3m beyond it, continuing north east for several
metres before disappearing into the undergrowth. This bank clearly respects
the barrow, and its builders may have used it as an end point for the field
boundary. This boundary may itself have its origins in prehistory, with the
barrow also acting as a territorial marker, defining a land division which has
been preserved to the present day. Before the surrounding vegetation took hold
the barrow would have commanded impressive views to north east and south west,
and would have been clearly visible to the Roman builders of Stone Street,
which approaches Dunseal Wood from the north east. The wire fence which runs
along the boundary bank is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
beneath it 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

The bowl barrow 450m NNW of Kerry's Gate is a well preserved example of this
class of monument. The barrow mound will retain details of its method of
construction and burial remains which will increase our understanding of both
the technology and burial practices of the Bronze Age community who built and
used it. The old ground surface sealed beneath the mound will preserve
environmental evidence for land use immediately prior to the barrow's
construction. In its prominent position on the skyline the monument would have
been clearly visible to the Bronze Age population, and to the builders of
Roman Stone Street which approaches the ridge from the north east. Its
association with the boundary bank increases its interest as a possible
territorial marker as well as a burial monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, , Guide to prehistoric and Roman sites in Herefordshire, (1976), 4
DJC, (1972)
SO 33 SE 14, Ordnance Survey, SO 33 SE 14, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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