Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows at Allington Hill, 420m south west of Allington Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2036 / 52°12'12"N

Longitude: 0.3158 / 0°18'57"E

OS Eastings: 558352.087

OS Northings: 258674.7234

OS Grid: TL583586

Mapcode National: GBR NB6.W44

Mapcode Global: VHHK6.FWB4

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows at Allington Hill, 420m south west of Allington Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1972

Last Amended: 15 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016820

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33346

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Swaffham Bulbeck

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Bottisham Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes the buried remains of four bowl barrows situated on the
slopes of a chalk spur at Allington Hill, Bottisham. The mounds of the barrows
have been levelled, but the ditches, from which earth was dug and used in the
construction of the barrows, have become infilled over the years and now
survive as buried features, visible as cropmarks (areas of varying plant
growth over buried archaeological features) on aerial photographs.

The buried remains of the first barrow on Allington Hill have a diameter of
24m, the second barrow, about 240m to the south west of the hill has a
diameter of 20m, the third barrow lies approximately 350m south west of the
hill and measures 17m in diameter, while the fourth barrow lies about 350m
south east of Allington Hill and is 30m in diameter. Two barrows in this group
were partly excavated during the 19th century and were found to contain
cremation burials and different types of Bronze Age urns, made of redware and
coarse black unbaked pottery.

The bowl barrows at Allington Hill lie within a once extensive area of burial
mounds in this area of south east Cambridgeshire.

All fences are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

The four bowl barrows at Allington Hill are some of the few surviving examples
of a formerly much more extensive cemetery on the chalklands of south east
Cambridgeshire, now largely destroyed. The cemetery is one of the most
substantial indicators of prehistoric activity in the region and is therefore
a focus for the study of prehistoric society. As a result of part excavation
at the beginning of the 20th century the remains are quite well understood,
while significant archaeological deposits have been left intact.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Symonds, J, 'Tempus Reparatum' in Archaeological assessment at Hare Park proposed new development, (1990), 21
CUCAP: RC8 - EA 65, (1982)
F1 RD 11-FEB-82, Dickson, R, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comment, (1982)
F2 RD 10-FEB-81, Dickson, R, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comment, (1981)
RCHM, NE Cambs, (1972)
RCHM, NE Cambs, (1972)
RCHM, NE Cambs, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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