Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow known as Blood Hill with associated remains of a boundary bank

A Scheduled Monument in Santon Downham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.4558 / 52°27'20"N

Longitude: 0.7078 / 0°42'28"E

OS Eastings: 584081.771287

OS Northings: 287656.647491

OS Grid: TL840876

Mapcode National: GBR QBG.5R3

Mapcode Global: VHKC5.7J1Q

Entry Name: Bowl barrow known as Blood Hill with associated remains of a boundary bank

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 5 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015255

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21423

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Santon Downham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Santon Downham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument is situated on a part of a track which runs along the parish
boundary between Thetford to the east and Lynford to the west, on a gentle
south west facing slope 332m NNE of the River Little Ouse, and it includes a
bowl barrow incorporated in the remains of a boundary bank. The barrow is
visible as an oval earthen mound measuring c.29m north west-south east by
c.40m north east-south west and standing to a height of c.0.5m. This mound
forms the central part of a more elongated earthwork which extends at a
slightly lower height, tapering gradually for a distance of c.12.5m at either
end of the mound along the same north east-south west axis, and which is
considered to be the remains of a boundary bank. The maximum overall length of
the upstanding earthwork is therefore 65m. The barrow mound has a truncated
appearance on the eastern side and is thought originally to have covered a
more nearly circular area with an estimated width of c.34m. It has also been
reduced in height as a result of forestry cultivation, and when first recorded
was c.2.6m in height. It is thought that the mound is encircled by a ditch
from which earth was quarried during construction of the barrow, and although
this has now become completely infilled and is no longer visible, it will
survive as a buried feature below the ground surface.

A modern post and wire fence which encloses much of the earthwork is excluded
from the scheduling, although 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

Although the bowl barrow known as Blood Hill has undergone some disturbance as
a result of forestry work and traffic along the track which formerly ran over
it, a large part of the monument survives well. Archaeological information
concerning the construction of the barrow and the manner and duration of its
use, and evidence for the local environment at the time, will be contained in
the remaining part of the mound and in deposits preserved beneath the mound
and in the fill of the buried ditch. Soils buried beneath the mound are also
likely to retain evidence for earlier land use on the site. The monument has
additional interest in relation to the prehistoric flint mines of Grimes
Graves which lie 1.7km to the north west and is one of several barrows
preserved in this part of the Breckland region which, as a group, provide
evidence for the study of the general character and development of prehistoric
settlement in the area. The association between the barrow and the boundary
bank is an example of the way in which prehistoric earthworks of this type
were sometimes used as markers in the defining of medieval boundaries and is
of interest in the context of the landscape history of the area.

Source: Historic England


5655: Lynford/ Thetford,

Source: Historic England

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