Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 550m south-east of Dairy Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Renhold, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.1439 / 52°8'38"N

Longitude: -0.3734 / 0°22'24"W

OS Eastings: 511405.28098

OS Northings: 250760.919228

OS Grid: TL114507

Mapcode National: GBR H3F.GG3

Mapcode Global: VHFQ9.GCZT

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 550m south-east of Dairy Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1997

Last Amended: 23 January 2012

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015590

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27194

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Renhold

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Renhold

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the buried remains of a bowl barrow located on the low lying gravel terrace on the north side of the Gadsey Brook, at Dairy Farm, Willington.

Source: Historic England


The monument includes the buried remains of a bowl barrow located on a low lying gravel terrace on the north side of the Gadsey Brook, a tributary of the River Great Ouse which flows into the main river a short distance to the east. The barrow is about 220m to the north of the brook and is part of a complex of prehistoric features.

The barrow has been reduced by ploughing, and the earthwork remains are now barely perceptible. However, aerial photography and geophysical survey allow for the accurate plotting and measurement of the barrow, the diameter of which measures about 12m from the outer edge of the ditch.

This barrow forms part of a complex of prehistoric features, also revealed by aerial photography and confirmed by geophysical survey. These features are the subject of separate schedulings and include a ritual enclosure known as a henge type monument located about 250m to the west (1015586), a henge, henge type monument and bowl barrow approximately 60m to the north east (1015587) and two further barrows about 250m to the north west (1015589).

The scheduling is intended to provide protection for the buried remains of the bowl barrow, including the surrounding ditch and surviving funerary remains buried beneath the ploughed down mound. With the 10m buffer zone the scheduled area forms a circle measuring 32m in diameter.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The bowl barrow 550m to the south-east of Dairy Farm at Willington is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: Although the barrow has been reduced by ploughing, its ditch fills and features beneath the mound are known to survive.

* Potential: The surviving archaeological features and deposits will retain valuable archaeological information, as will features beneath the mound. The study of this site and the others with which it is associated will contribute valuable information regarding the continuity of land use, the evolution of prehistoric funerary practices and the distribution of settlement in the area.

* Diversity: The monument is also part of a widespread distribution of similar features which follow the gravel terraces of the River Great Ouse, the recent mapping of which has greatly enhanced our understanding of the nature of the prehistoric landscape. The gravel terraces of the River Great Ouse are known to have provided the focus for burial and ritual activities, as well as settlement, in the Neolithic period and Bronze Age. This bowl barrow forms part of a particularly important group which includes nearby scheduled barrows and henge type monuments (1015586, 1015589 & 1015590) and the larger mortuary complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age scheduled monuments further to the west at Goldington (1011629, 1008510, 1009777, 1007322, 1007324, 1007326, 1007327, 1007329 & 1007331) and separated from this group by an existing gravel quarry.

* Period: Bowl barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. The considerable variation in form and the longevity of the monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst prehistoric communities.

* Documentation: The monuments have been subject to non-invasive archaeological intervention which has confirmed their importance. This includes mapping of aerial photographic evidence and geophysical survey.

Source: Historic England

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