Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow in Turlhanger's Wood, 320m south east of Northfield Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Aldbury, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8098 / 51°48'35"N

Longitude: -0.6224 / 0°37'20"W

OS Eastings: 495070.063314

OS Northings: 213243.348284

OS Grid: SP950132

Mapcode National: GBR F4H.KFR

Mapcode Global: VHFRQ.5SB0

Entry Name: Bowl barrow in Turlhanger's Wood, 320m south east of Northfield Grange

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015592

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27196

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Aldbury

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Tring

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes a prehistoric bowl barrow located on the crest of a
wooded slope below Aldbury Nowers, occupying an elevated position on the
Chiltern scarp looking out to the west over the upper reaches of the Bulbourne
Valley and the Aylesbury Vale beyond.
The barrow mound is circular in plan and slightly domed in profile, measuring
approximately 18m in diameter and 1.4m high. In the absence of evidence for a
surrounding quarry ditch, the mound is thought to have been of `scraped'
construction, using turf and earth gathered from its surroundings. This method
is known to have been widely used across the Chiltern Hills.
A second barrow, similar in appearance, is sited further up the hill some 140m
to the north east and is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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

The bowl barrow lying 320m to the south east of Northfield Grange survives
well and will retain significant archaeological information. The mound, and
the area which it overlies, will contain burials and other deposits related to
its construction and attendant ritual activity, and provide evidence for the
duration, or repetitive nature, of its use.
This barrow (and its neighbour to the north east) form part of a particularly
interesting distribution of funerary monuments following the Chiltern Ridge
through Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The study of these
sites will provide valuable information regarding the continuity and evolution
of prehistoric funerary practices in the area, and contribute to our
understanding of prehistoric land use and settlement patterns in the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Davis, J, 'Records of Buckinghamshire' in Grim's Ditch In Buckinghamshire And Hertfordshire, , Vol. 23, (1981), 23-31
Dyer, J, 'Antiquity' in The Chiltern Grim's Ditch, , Vol. XXXVII, (1963), 46-9
Dyer, J F, 'Archaeological Journal' in Barrows of the Chilterns, , Vol. 116, (1959)
1:2500, Ordnance Survey, SP 9412-9512, (1974)
data entry Herts SMR, 4152: Round barrow in Turlhanger's Wood,

Source: Historic England

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