Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow 220m north west of Priory Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Shudy Camps, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.0794 / 52°4'45"N

Longitude: 0.3718 / 0°22'18"E

OS Eastings: 562625.724151

OS Northings: 244991.773614

OS Grid: TL626449

Mapcode National: GBR NCT.QS7

Mapcode Global: VHJH8.DZDT

Entry Name: Bell barrow 220m north west of Priory Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1981

Last Amended: 30 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015014

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27172

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Shudy Camps

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Shudy Camps St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a Bronze Age bell barrow located on the north side of
the road between Mill Green and Priory Farm.
The barrow mound has a rounded profile, and measures approximately 12m in
diameter and 0.5m high. This stands in the centre of a raised platform (also
circular) measuring 18m across and about 0.4m high, which is in turn
surrounded by a partly buried ditch, averaging 4m wide and 0.6m deep. The
southern part of the ditch's circuit has been truncated by the construction of
the adjacent road, and a roadside ditch has removed a narrow segment from the
berm (the area between the mound and the ditch) on this side. Otherwise, the
only evidence of disturbance is a slight depression in the centre of the
mound, thought to have been caused by the removal of a tree.

The scheduling includes a margin, 1m in width, around the surviving length of
the barrow ditch which is considered essential for the continued support and
protection of the monument. The roadside fence is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath the fenceline is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Although the bell barrow to the north west of Priory Farm has been disturbed,
the greater part of the monument has survived intact. Valuable archaeological
deposits, including undisturbed funerary remains, will be retained within and
beneath the mound and in the fills of the ditch. These will provide
information relating to the process of construction and the duration of the
barrow's use, and to the rituals and beliefs of the builders of this rare
class of monument.
The same features will also retain environmental evidence which will
illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fox, C, Archaeology of the Cambridge Region, (1923), 198
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1978), 198

Source: Historic England

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