Ancient Monuments

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Roman barrow at Broomershill, 200m south east of Brocks Rew Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Pulborough, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9605 / 50°57'37"N

Longitude: -0.4832 / 0°28'59"W

OS Eastings: 506617.406018

OS Northings: 118992.849774

OS Grid: TQ066189

Mapcode National: GBR GJ8.QNF

Mapcode Global: FRA 96WK.TTZ

Entry Name: Roman barrow at Broomershill, 200m south east of Brocks Rew Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1978

Last Amended: 2 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015233

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29238

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Pulborough

Built-Up Area: West Chiltington Common

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Pulborough St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a barrow constructed during the Roman period, situated
on the southern slope of a sandstone hill which forms part of the Sussex
Weald. The barrow lies around 170m east of a north-south aligned, minor Roman
road between Codmore Hill and Marehill which joins Stane Street, the main
Roman road between Chichester (Noviomagus) and London (Londinium), around 2km
to the north. The barrow has been partly levelled by past ploughing and
survives as a low, circular mound c.19m in diameter and 0.2m high. Excavations
in 1815 and 1817 revealed the mound to have been constructed over a circular
chamber, surviving in the form of buried, mortared-brick footings c.3.5m
thick. Blocks of squared tufa originating from Italy were also used in the
construction of the barrow. The mound is likely to be surrounded by a now
infilled construction ditch up to 2m wide.

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

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety
of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as
steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with
an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally
believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly
cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited
with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile
or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to
have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur
singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples.
They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A
small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with
masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare
nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted
to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples
date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this
East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of
native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial
practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second
century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building
appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were re-used when secondary
Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to
cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little
investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally
poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of
burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are
identified as nationally important.

Despite some disturbance by past ploughing, the Roman barrow at Broomershill
survives comparatively well, and part excavation has shown that it contains
archaeological information relating to the construction and original purpose
of the monument. The barrow lies in the hinterland of Chichester, within which
cluster many broadly contemporary Roman settlements, buildings and associated
remains, including an early Roman villa at Borough Farm around 1.1km to the
north east. The monument provides important evidence for the burial rites
associated with the death of one of the more wealthy members of this well-
populated, Romanised community.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Martin, J, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Stane Street Causeway, (1859), 141-142
Martin, J, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Stane Street Causeway, (1859), 141

Source: Historic England

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