Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Ibsley Common, 980m south east of Blunts Barn Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8914 / 50°53'29"N

Longitude: -1.7534 / 1°45'12"W

OS Eastings: 417437.831822

OS Northings: 110245.262752

OS Grid: SU174102

Mapcode National: GBR 53M.1HJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 766R.BQ3

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Ibsley Common, 980m south east of Blunts Barn Cottage

Scheduled Date: 25 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016892

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31179

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Hyde with Ellingham and Harbridge

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a bowl barrow of Late Neolithic or Bronze Age date,prominently situated on a high gravel plateau on Ibsley Common,approximately 50m south of the southern edge of Chibden Bottom,a deep,steep-sided combe which partly bisects the plateau.This flat plateau,which covers an area of approximately 240ha,was later used as the site of a World War II aerodrome for which some associated structural and earthwork remains survive.At least sixteen additional round barrows are widely spaced across the common,all of which are situated around the upper edges of the central plateau or on subsidiary spurs.The bowl barrow includes a flat-topped,circular mound,8m in diameter and 0.6m high,surrounded by discontinuous traces of a boggy ditch.This ditch is most prominent to the north east and east where it is 1.2m wide and 0.2m deep.The barrow is in reasonably good condition,although there are traces of disturbance on the north side which may be the result of excavations conducted by Heywood Sumner in 1917.These excavations indicated that the barrow is constructed from an outer cap of locally obtained gravel and clayey sand,0.45m thick,overlying a ring of white clayey sand,0.3m wide and 0.2m deep,which encloses an oval shaped,north-south oriented void,about 1.35m long by 0.75m wide.The white sand was apparently obtained from some distance.Sumner found that the void was filled with the same gravelly material that formed the barrow's outer cap but believed it may originally have contained an inhumation burial,now entirely decayed.He found similar voids or cists near the centre of five other barrows he excavated on Ibsley Common,three of which contained burnt material and Bronze Age cinerary urns which are now held at the Salisbury Museum.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.It includes a two 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 protection.The bowl barrow on Ibsley Common,980m south east of Blunts Barn Cottage,survives well despite some later disturbance caused by its partial excavation and the modern use of the Common as a World War II aerodrome.It forms part of a widely spaced group of at least sixteen round barrows situated on Ibsley Common.Partial excavation has shown that it retains important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Sumner, H, Local Papers (Excavation of barrows on Ibsley Common), (1931)

Source: Historic England

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