Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Craswall, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.0375 / 52°2'14"N

Longitude: -3.0586 / 3°3'31"W

OS Eastings: 327479.085341

OS Northings: 238201.795147

OS Grid: SO274382

Mapcode National: GBR F3.FZXJ

Mapcode Global: VH786.X1WX

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014540

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27501

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Craswall

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Craswall

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the buried remains of a barrow which incorporates a
burial chamber, or cist, situated at the top of the south west facing Cefn
Ridge, west of the Cefn Track. The cist includes a large stone slab lying
flat, with two edges protruding from the ground for 1.2m. Beneath it are
several smaller stones, embedded in the soil. The surrounding area is
distinctly hummocky, suggesting the presence of further stones which may have
been disturbed from their original positions by ploughing or early
investigation of the site. The earthen mound which would originally have
covered the cist is no longer visible, however in 1950 a slight mound was
recorded and vestiges of this may well survive in the uneven ground around the
cist. The same record notes that this area was defined by a distinct level
area, or berm. Some 4km to the south east another cist (the subject of a
separate scheduling) is surrounded by the remains of its mound, and is in a
similar position below the Cefn Track. Both command impressive views, and it
is likely that others await discovery along the ridge. The track, which may
itself have prehistoric origins, is also the parish boundary, and these
monuments may have acted as territorial markers, defining ancient land
divisions which have been preserved to the present day.

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 some past disturbance, the bowl barrow 350m NNE of Abbey Farm is a
well preserved example of this class of monument. Burial remains will be
preserved within the cist, and the slabs may show signs of being worked and
dressed. All these elements can tell us about the technology and burial
practices of the prehistoric community who built and used the monument. The
deposits within the chamber will preserve environmental evidence for land use
around the monument during its construction. In its prominent position on the
edge of the ridge, the cist's close association with the Cefn Track and parish
boundary increases interest in the monument as a possible territorial marker,
as well as a burial monument. When viewed along with other examples in the
area the monument can contribute to our understanding of the social
organisation and demography of the county's Bronze Age population.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Robinson, R S G, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club' in Notes on Bronze Age settlements on Abbey Farm, Craswall, (1950), 112-17
Robinson, R S G, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club' in Notes on Bronze Age settlements on Abbey Farm, Craswall, (1950), 115
SO 23 NE 11, Ordnance Survey, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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