Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 490m north west of Abbey Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wolvey, Warwickshire

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Latitude: 52.5057 / 52°30'20"N

Longitude: -1.3633 / 1°21'47"W

OS Eastings: 443313.412448

OS Northings: 289942.136162

OS Grid: SP433899

Mapcode National: GBR 7MC.XVG

Mapcode Global: VHCT3.B940

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 490m north west of Abbey Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016845

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30064

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Wolvey

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Wolvey St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument includes a bowl barrow 490m north west of Abbey Farm. The barrow
survives as an irregular earthwork mound modified by ploughing and standing to
a height of 0.5m. It is roughly oval and measures approximately 28m in
diameter from east to west and 31m from north to south. Although no longer
easily visible at ground level, a slight depression at the base of the
mound represents two narrow ditches from which material was quarried during
the construction of the barrow. These became partially infilled over time,
but survive as buried features.
Geophysical survey and trial excavation in 1983 confirmed the survival of the
two ditches running around the mound as well as a number of other buried
quarry pits. An assemblage of prehistoric flint and Bronze Age pottery
fragments is recorded from the site.
The excavation also indicated that both the primary burial and buried ground
levels survive intact, as well as a number of secondary cremation burials.
Probable ard marks (traces of early cultivation using a simple plough without
a mould-board), were noted and Neolithic ground surfaces are expected to be

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

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 490m north west of Abbey Farm survives well despite ploughing
and is believed to include both primary and secondary burials and associated
artefacts. These will provide information about the local population,
including evidence about dietary habits, diseases and standards of living.
Artefactual evidence will indicate social status and illuminate ritual and
funerary practises. In addition, the buried ditches, pits and barrow mound
will preserve buried environmental evidence which will provide information
about the landscape and climate in the vicinity at the time of the barrow's
construction. Artefactual evidence recovered in trial excavations during 1983
have confirmed the dating of the barrow.

Source: Historic England


Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR file, excavation notes 1983

Source: Historic England

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