Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow at King's Standing

A Scheduled Monument in Oscott, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.5582 / 52°33'29"N

Longitude: -1.8827 / 1°52'57"W

OS Eastings: 408049.378498

OS Northings: 295597.34513

OS Grid: SP080955

Mapcode National: GBR 33C.ZV

Mapcode Global: WHCH7.1YRQ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at King's Standing

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016437

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30041

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Oscott

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Kingstanding St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the bowl barrow at
King's Standing, located in a prominent position on a mild slope above Sutton
Park and to the east of Ryknield Street Roman road. The barrow mound stands to
a height of between 0.75m to 1.25m, with a diameter of approximately 20m.
Although no longer easily visible at ground level, a slight depression at the
base of the mound represents a ditch, from which material was quarried during
the construction of the monument. This has been partially infilled over the
years, but survives as a buried feature approximately 3m wide.
The monument features in local folklore linked with King Charles I's review
of his troops during the Civil War and similarly with a Danish king's military

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 at King's Standing survives well and is believed to include
both primary and secondary burials and associated artefacts. These will
provide information about the local population, including evidence about
dietary habits, diseases and standards of living. Artefactual evidence will
indicate social status and illuminate possible ritual practises as well as
providing information about any technological developments and the range of
contacts available to the population through exchange or trade. The buried
ditches and barrow mound will be expected to preserve environmental deposits
and sealed ground surfaces which will provide information about the landscape,
environment and climate in the vicinity at the time of the barrow's
The barrow occupies a prominent landscape position standing adjacent to the
route of Ryknield Street Roman road. The monument's links with King Charles
I's review of his troops during the Civil War and similarly with a Danish
king's military activity, suggests that it has played an important role in the
local landscape throughout time.

Source: Historic England


Hodder, M. SMR Officer, Unpublished notes in SMR, notes dating 1700's to 1997.

Source: Historic England

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