Ancient Monuments

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Five bowl barrows 590m north east of Bernersfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Icklingham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3468 / 52°20'48"N

Longitude: 0.6226 / 0°37'21"E

OS Eastings: 578731.29

OS Northings: 275319.0967

OS Grid: TL787753

Mapcode National: GBR QCJ.VLG

Mapcode Global: VHJG7.Q8ZS

Entry Name: Five bowl barrows 590m north east of Bernersfield Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1962

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016808

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31118

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Icklingham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Icklingham St James

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument, which is in three separate areas of protection, includes five
bowl barrows situated in a roughly east-west alignment. The monument is known
locally as the Icklingham barrow cemetery.
The first area includes three barrows. The westernmost barrow is visible as a
large earthen mound, which stands to a height of about 1m and covers a
circular area of about 38m in diameter. A second bowl barrow stands
approximately 36m to the WNW of the first, and survives as a circular mound,
about 31m in diameter and 0.4m high. A third bowl barrow is situated
approximately 20m to the south east of the second, and is visible as a roughly
circular mound, with a diameter of about 38m and a height of about 0.5m.
The second area includes a fourth bowl barrow, standing approximately 140m
further to the east of the third barrow. It is visible as a circular mound,
about 36m in diameter and 1m high.
The third area includes a fifth barrow, standing a further 130m to the north
east of the fourth barrow. It is visible as a roughly circular earthern mound
with a diameter of about 41m and a height of 0.7m.
It is thought that all five mounds are encircled by ditches from which earth
was quarried during the construction of the barrows. Although these have now
become completely infilled and are no longer visible, they will survive as
buried features below the ground surface.
Four barrows from this group are identified on Hodskinson's 1783 Map of
Suffolk whilst the third, fourth and fifth barrows are recorded as having been
investigated by Henry Prigg between 1866 and 1872. The five barrows are
thought to be the survivors of a larger group of barrows including at least
two other barrows, no longer visible, which are thought to have stood
approximately 140m and 200m to the north of the group. It is believed that one
of these two was investigated by Henry Prigg junior in 1873. The mound, which
was constructed of sand, contained a central grave. The remains of five
cremation burials were also recorded, and amongst the finds were two small
vessels (a cinerary urn and a plain drinking cup) and several pieces of worked
A further barrow which is sited approximately 700m to the south of the
monument is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The pheasant pen which surrounds part of the first barrow and the fences to
the south of the second and south west of the third barrow are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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

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.

Although three of the five barrows 590m north east of Bernersfield Farm have
been the subject of limited investigation and a trackway cuts across the
easternmost barrow mound, archaeological information concerning the
construction and the manner of use of all five barrows and their stratigraphic
and chronological relationship to one another will survive.
Evidence for the local environment in the prehistoric period will also be
preserved in the upstanding earthworks, in soils buried beneath the mounds and
in the fills of the surrounding ditches. The proximity of these barrows to a
number of other barrows in this part of the Breckland region, and in
particular to a further five barrows within a 2km radius (three the subject of
separate schedulings and two which are no longer visible), give them
additional interest. Together these barrows give some evidence of the
character, development and density of the prehistoric population in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Prigg, H, 'Journal British Archaeol. Assoc.' in The Icklingham Tumuli, , Vol. 30, (1874), 195-6
Title: Map of Suffolk
Source Date: 1783
Suff Rec Soc Reprint, 15, 1972

Source: Historic England

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