Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow known as How Hill, east of Heronfield Belt

A Scheduled Monument in Eriswell, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3562 / 52°21'22"N

Longitude: 0.5828 / 0°34'58"E

OS Eastings: 575984.88219

OS Northings: 276268.034403

OS Grid: TL759762

Mapcode National: GBR PB4.B4Q

Mapcode Global: VHJG7.11YK

Entry Name: Bowl barrow known as How Hill, east of Heronfield Belt

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1953

Last Amended: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017795

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31094

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Eriswell

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Icklingham St James

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a bowl barrow and is situated on a west facing slope
immediately to the north of the A11 trunk road. The barrow is visible as an
earthen mound, standing to a height of approximately 2.6m with a maximum
diameter of 35m. A hollow on the eastern side of the mound, measuring about
10m wide at the base by 5m wide at the top and approximately 1m deep, is
thought to be the result of an unrecorded antiquarian excavation. A letter
from W G Clarke to Cyril Fox, dated 1923, states that `a cinerary urn has been
found there and broken up'. It is thought that the mound is encircled by a
ditch from which earth was quarried during the construction of the barrow,
and although this has now become completely infilled and is no longer visible,
it will survive as a buried feature 3m wide.
The fence on the south side of the monument 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, known as How Hill survives well and is a prominent landmark.
Although there is evidence for an unrecorded antiquarian excavation, the area
of disturbance is small in relation to the monument as a whole which will
retain archaeological information concerning its construction and the manner
and duration of its use. Evidence for the local environment prior to and
during that time will also be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound
and in the fills of the buried ditch. The proximity of the barrow to a number
of other barrows in this part of the Breckland region, in particular the
Icklingham barrow cemetery which lies approximately 2km to the south east,
give it additional interest. The majority of these barrows are sited on land
which was in the past, and in many cases still is, heathland and warren.
Together these barrows give some evidence of the character, development and
density of the prehistoric population in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fox, C, Archaeology of the Cambridge Region, (1923)
Briscoe, G, 'Proceedings of the Cambridge Archaeological Society' in Bronze Age Burials at How Hill Icklingham, , Vol. 48, (1955)

Source: Historic England

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