Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 750m north west of Wood Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8935 / 51°53'36"N

Longitude: -2.0151 / 2°0'54"W

OS Eastings: 399054.019843

OS Northings: 221656.926454

OS Grid: SO990216

Mapcode National: GBR 2MF.7C8

Mapcode Global: VHB1R.1N1T

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 750m north west of Wood Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1948

Last Amended: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017336

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32347

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Charlton Kings

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Charlton Kings St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated just below the crest of a hill in
the Cotswolds with views to the west and north west. The barrow mound measures
about 12m in diameter and is 1.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from
which material was excavated during the construction of the barrow. This is no
longer visible at ground level, but will survive as a buried feature about 2m
The first record of the barrow dates to 1625 when a juror's report on the
manor of Cheltenham noted `the stones of Northfield Hill' as one of the
boundary markers of the manor. The barrow mound was partially excavated in
1912 by H C Hill, at which time it was about 3.5m high and 12m in diameter.
The large depression in the centre of the barrow is thought to result from
this excavation. The barrow was found to have been systematically constructed
from alternate layers of stone and earth, with three primary burials lying in
separate stone cists about 1.8m from the top of the mound. The burials
included the remains of two adults and a child which were associated with a
number of grave goods including a flint knife, a flint saw, a whetstone, a
crystal and a polished white pebble. A secondary burial was found to have been
dug into the side of the mound. Considerable evidence for burning was found on
the original ground surface. A few bones from the three primary burials were
retained as samples, and the site was covered over with rubble `for the
purpose of preservation'.
The post and wire fence is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it is included.

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 750m north west of Wood Farm survives well, despite partial
excavation during the early 20th century. The barrow mound will contain
evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with grave goods, which
provide information about prehistoric funerary practices and the size of the
local community at that time. The mound will also preserve environmental
information in the buried original ground surface, predating the construction
of the barrow and giving an insight into the landscape in which the monument
was set.
In addition the mound and surrounding ditch will also contain environmental
evidence in the form of organic remains, which will relate both to the barrow
and the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hill, H C, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in Northfield Tumulus, Cheltenham, , Vol. LII, (1930), 305-308
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 106

Source: Historic England

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