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Bowl barrow and pond barrow in Mount Ephraim Plantation, 810m north west of Field Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Cranwich, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4921 / 52°29'31"N

Longitude: 0.6133 / 0°36'47"E

OS Eastings: 577517.198046

OS Northings: 291452.262003

OS Grid: TL775914

Mapcode National: GBR Q9R.RW7

Mapcode Global: VHJFG.LM3F

Entry Name: Bowl barrow and pond barrow in Mount Ephraim Plantation, 810m north west of Field Barn

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 5 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015261

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21431

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Cranwich

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Weeting St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow and an adjacent pond barrow located to the
west of the track known as Pilgrims' Walk, on a slight ridge above a gentle
south facing slope overlooking the valley of the Little Ouse River, towards
the western side of the Breckland region.

The bowl barrow has an overall diameter of c.36m and is visible as an earthen
mound encircled by a ditch. The mound stands to a height of c.2m and covers a
circular area with a diameter of c.30m; the surrounding ditch, from which
earth was quarried during the construction of the barrow, has become largely
infilled but survives as a buried feature, marked by a depression c.3m wide
and c.0.25m deep in the ground surface. The pond barrow lies c.1m to the south
west of the bowl barrow and is visible as a circular hollow c.0.5m deep and
c.17m in diameter, around the rim of which there is an earthen bank c.4m wide
at the base and c.0.4m high. In the centre of the hollow is a slight mound
c.0.2m high and c.5m in diameter. It is thought that the bowl barrow may have
have been one of seven investigated by Lord Rosehill in 1871, when cremation
burials were found.

MAP EXTRACT
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
protection.

Both the bowl barrow and the pond barrow 810m north west of Field Barn survive
well. The bowl barrow remains an impressive earthwork, and although the mound
is thought to have been the subject of an antiquarian investigation, the area
of disturbance will have been small in relation to the monument as a whole,
and the mound and the fill of the ditch will retain archaeological information
concerning the construction of the barrow, the manner and duration of its use
and the local environment at that time. Evidence for earlier land use is also
likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound.

The pond barrow is an example of a class of ceremonial or funerary monuments
of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and
1000 BC. The term `barrow' is something of a misnomer, as, rather than mounds,
they were constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim
and, occasionally, an outer ditch or an entrance through the bank. Where
excavation has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists, occasionally
containing human remains, have usually been discovered within the central
depression, whilst at one example, a well-like shaft was revealed. Pond
barrows occur singly or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries
(closely spaced groups of barrows). The function and role of pond barrows is
not fully understood but their close association with other types of barrow,
and the limited but repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated
examples supports their identification as ceremonial monuments involved in
funerary ritual. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow, with about
60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to
Wiltshire and Dorset. As few examples have been excavated they have a
particularly high value for future study, with the potential to provide
important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst prehistoric
communities, and because of their rarity, all identified pond barrows are
normally considered to be of national importance. This particular example in
Norfolk, surviving outside the main area of known distribution and in direct
association with a bowl barrow, is therefore of exceptional interest.

The two barrows lie c.85m to the south west of another bowl barrow, among a
group of five aligned on an north east-south west axis over a distance of 1km.
They have additional interest in relation to the prehistoric flint mines known
as Grimes Graves, which lie c.4km to the south east, and, together with other
barrows preserved in this part of the Breckland region, provide evidence for
the study of the general character and development of prehistoric settlement
in the area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
(1872)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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