Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 100m north west of Purslow Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Clunbury, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4221 / 52°25'19"N

Longitude: -2.9461 / 2°56'46"W

OS Eastings: 335754.738706

OS Northings: 280876.283998

OS Grid: SO357808

Mapcode National: GBR B8.NHCP

Mapcode Global: VH76B.WDC2

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 100m north west of Purslow Hall

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016825

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32298

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Clunbury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Clunbury with Clunton

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Bronze Age bowl
barrow, situated on level ground to the north of and above the flood plain of
the River Clun, with extensive views of the surrounding countryside.
The barrow includes a stone mound 11m in diameter which survives to a height
of 0.8m. Some stones were placed on edge to form radial and circular
revetments or kerbs in order to stabilize the mound and to create a series of
compartments within it. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch
from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument
surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a
buried feature, approximately 2m wide.
Place name evidence suggests that the barrow was chosen as the site of a moot,
or open air meeting place, when the Anglo-Saxon hundred system of land control
and administration in Shropshire was reorganised in the 12th century. The
barrow was conveniently situated close to long-established routeways linking
medieval towns. Purslow was originally part of the Leintwardine hundred, and
in the 12th century much of this land was amalgamated into the Mortimers'
marcher lordship of Wigmore. The rest was divided between the newly
established hundreds of Munslow and Purslow.

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 100m north west of Purslow Hall 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.
In the 12th century this conspicuous monument appears to have been used as a
moot for the newly established hundred of Purslow. A moot was an open-air
meeting place set aside for use by the courts and other bodies who were
responsible for maintaining authority within the countryside. The reuse
of the barrow as a moot demonstrates its continued importance as a significant
landscape feature.

Source: Historic England


notes of work for Shropshire VCH, Baugh, G, Purslow Hundred Site: some considerations, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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