Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Gambra Hill, 590m and 770m north of Downs Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Coln St. Dennis, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7898 / 51°47'23"N

Longitude: -1.8524 / 1°51'8"W

OS Eastings: 410279.6581

OS Northings: 210133.6942

OS Grid: SP102101

Mapcode National: GBR 3Q4.LJ9

Mapcode Global: VHB2D.V83T

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Gambra Hill, 590m and 770m north of Downs Barn

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1949

Last Amended: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018164

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29787

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Coln St. Dennis

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Bibury with Winson

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two bowl barrows on Gambra
Hill. The most northerly barrow lies on the crest of the hill and has a mound
21m in diameter and 0.75m high. The second barrow lies just below the crest,
on a gentle south facing slope and has a mound 20m in diameter and 0.8m high.
Although no longer visible on the surface, a ditch will surround each of the
mounds and will survive as a buried feature 2m wide.
The hill on which the barrows stand is called Rambury Hill on a tithe map of
1840 and it may be that one or the other of these barrows is that referred to
in a Saxon charter of about 718-745 AD as Rawan Berh, possibly a mis-spelling
of Rammbeorh or Ram's 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

Despite erosion due to cultivation, both barrows on Gambra Hill will contain
archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy
and environment.

Source: Historic England

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