Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 550m north east of Slip End Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kelshall, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0224 / 52°1'20"N

Longitude: -0.1243 / 0°7'27"W

OS Eastings: 528798.972415

OS Northings: 237656.618148

OS Grid: TL287376

Mapcode National: GBR J6M.5F1

Mapcode Global: VHGNG.SFNH

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 550m north east of Slip End Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1962

Last Amended: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017328

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33348

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Kelshall

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Guilden Morden St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the lip of a north west facing
slope. The mound is visible as a substantial earthwork, covering an area of
approximately 30m in diameter. It has been partly spread by ploughing, and
its slopes merge gradually with the surrounding field. Its height varies
between 0.5m and 1m with the higher part on the north. The ditch, from which
earth was dug in the construction of the mound, has become infilled over the
years, but survives as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs. It is
believed to be 3m wide.

The bowl barrow is situated near the course of the prehistoric Icknield Way.
It lies within an extensive area of burial mounds scattered upon the chalk
uplands of north Hertfordshire and south Cambridgeshire. Another bowl barrow
330m to the north west at Highly Hill (SM 20616), is the subject of a separate

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 550m north east of Slip End Farm, survives as a substantial
earthwork with associated buried features. It is exceptionally well preserved
and forms part of an extensive area of burial mounds scattered upon the chalk
uplands of north Hertfordshire and south Cambridgeshire. The barrow is one of
the most visible indicators of prehistoric activity in the region and
therefore a focus for the study of prehistoric society. The barrow is rare in
that it does not appear to have been excavated and its archaeological deposits
are expected to survive largely intact.

Source: Historic England

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