Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 250m south east of Gew

A Scheduled Monument in Kea, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2388 / 50°14'19"N

Longitude: -5.0936 / 5°5'37"W

OS Eastings: 179496.654723

OS Northings: 42222.310352

OS Grid: SW794422

Mapcode National: GBR ZC.B35W

Mapcode Global: FRA 086D.KDB

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 250m south east of Gew

Scheduled Date: 15 July 1966

Last Amended: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017351

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32908

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Kea

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Kea

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, situated on a saddle of a
ridge north of Carnon Downs. The barrow's mound is sub-circular in plan,
approximately 16.6m across north-south, by 15.2m east-west, and is 2.6m high.
Its fabric is mostly earth, with a capping of quartz stones set in or near the
surface. On the west, the mound has a regular bowl type profile. On the east
the mound has been damaged by ploughing, so that this side slopes unevenly
down to its edge from a scarp 1.3m deep cut roughly north-south across the
centre of the barrow. On the top of the mound is a hollow 5.7m across and 0.5m
deep, probably an antiquarian excavation or robbing trench, which is cut by
the machine-dug scarp across the barrow.
This barrow is associated with other barrows situated along the ridge to both
the north west and south east, together forming a wider ridge top barrow

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 barrow 250m south east of Gew survives reasonably well, the rounded
profile of its mound being clearly visible despite the limited excavation on
its top, and the damage to its east side. It remains substantially intact, as
will the underlying old land surface and any surviving original deposits
associated with the mound and old land surface. The quartz capping of the
mound is a rare feature illustrating one aspect of the diversity of
prehistoric burial rites, and the situation of the barrow in a wider ridge top
barrow cemetery demonstrates the important role of topography in Bronze Age
funerary activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Parochial Antiquities, (1920), 130,139
MacLauchlan, H, 'The Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Report of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, , Vol. 29, (1847)
Jasper, J to Preston-Jones, A, (1988)
Title: Kea Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880

Source: Historic England

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