Ancient Monuments

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Five bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Eastleach, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7754 / 51°46'31"N

Longitude: -1.7292 / 1°43'45"W

OS Eastings: 418780.502924

OS Northings: 208555.830633

OS Grid: SP187085

Mapcode National: GBR 4RT.MN4

Mapcode Global: VHB2G.ZM6W

Entry Name: Five bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016765

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32332

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Eastleach

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Eastleach St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes five bowl barrows forming a small round barrow cemetery
sited on a gentle south-facing slope, and aligned roughly north-south. The
southern barrow is the largest of the group, with a mound measuring 24m in
diameter and 1m in height composed of small limestone slabs. Part of a
surrounding ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of
the monument, is visible to the west of the mound, and the remainder of the
circuit will survive as a buried feature, about 2m wide. To the north is a
second, slightly oval barrow mound measuring 17.5m north-south, 19.5m east-
west and about 1m in height. There is no visible evidence for a surrounding
ditch, although this will survive as a buried feature, also about 2m wide. To
the north of this is a third barrow mound which is also slightly oval in
shape. The mound measures 18m north-south, 22m east-west and 1m in height.
There is no evidence for a surrounding ditch at ground level, but it survives
as a buried feature about 2m wide, extending into the field to the north, and
is visible on aerial photographs. This mound has a small depression in the
centre, probably caused by a fallen tree. Immediately to the south west
of the centre of the mound, an upright slab of stone is visible, rising 0.5m
above the surrounding ground surface, which may have formed part of the
internal structure of the barrow. The northernmost barrow has a mound
measuring 32m in diameter and approximately 0.3m in height. The mound of this
barrow is also surrounded by a ditch from which material was excavated during
its construction. This ditch is no longer visible at ground level, but will
survive as a buried feature about 3m wide. To the east of this barrow mound,
aerial photographs show a circular cropmark of enhanced plant growth over
buried archaeological features which indicates the existence of a ditch,
marking the site of a further barrow. The barrow mound has been reduced by
cultivation, but the surrounding ditch survives as a buried feature enclosing
an area 30m in diameter.
This group is thought to be part of the `Seven Barrows' named in this area on
Isaac Taylor's map of Gloucestershire of 1786.
All dry stone walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The bowl barrows 870m north west of Eastleachdowns Farm are reasonably well
preserved, although the two barrows which lie in the field to the north have
been spread by the plough. The mounds of all of the barrows will contain
evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with grave goods, which will
provide information about the way prehistoric peoples buried their dead and
the size of local communities at that time. The mounds will also preserve
environmental information in the buried original ground surface, predating the
construction of the barrows and giving insight into the landcape in which the
monument was set. The open areas between the barrow mounds will also contain
evidence in the form of satellite burials and grave goods which will relate to
the material in the mounds. The mounds and their surrounding ditches will also
contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains, which will
relate both to the barrows and the landscape within which they were

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Iron Age and Roman Monuments in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, (1976), 52
SP 1808/2, RCHME, (1971)
SP1808/2, RCHME, (1971)

Source: Historic England

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