Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 320m north east of Upper Darnford

A Scheduled Monument in Smethcott, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.576 / 52°34'33"N

Longitude: -2.8469 / 2°50'48"W

OS Eastings: 342703.280778

OS Northings: 297910.428225

OS Grid: SO427979

Mapcode National: GBR BD.BXF1

Mapcode Global: WH8CC.7JL1

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 320m north east of Upper Darnford

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016821

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32283

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Smethcott

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Church Stretton

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Bronze Age bowl
barrow, located approximately 100m south of an ancient routeway known as The
Port Way. It is situated at the top of a steep south west facing slope, with
the ground also sloping gently to the north west. From this location there are
extensive views of the surrounding countryside, notably Wildmoor to the south
and the Darnford Brook valley to the west.
The barrow mound is constructed of earth and stone. It is about 22m in
diameter and survives to a height of 0.7m. Although no longer visible at
ground level, a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction
of the barrow, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years
but survives as a buried feature, approximately 3m wide.

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 320m north east of Upper Darnford is a well-preserved example
of this class of monument. The barrow mound will retain evidence for its
method of construction as well as the burial or burials within it. These
remains will advance our understanding of Bronze Age society, including the
ritual practices and technical abilities of these people. The accumulated
ditch fills will preserve environmental evidence for the activities which took
place at the site during the construction of the barrow, and its subsequent
use. In addition the buried ground surface beneath the mound will preserve
evidence for the prehistoric landscape in which the barrow was built. The
monument now occupies a prominent position in the landscape.

Source: Historic England

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