Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Barren Down, 250m north west of Princes Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Shepton Mallet, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1953 / 51°11'43"N

Longitude: -2.5438 / 2°32'37"W

OS Eastings: 362096.496665

OS Northings: 144146.825553

OS Grid: ST620441

Mapcode National: GBR MS.4Z7K

Mapcode Global: VH8B0.V7K1

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Barren Down, 250m north west of Princes Lodge

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019422

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33717

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Shepton Mallet

Built-Up Area: Shepton Mallet

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes two Late Neolithic to Bronze Age bowl barrows situated
on Barren Down on the northern outskirts of Shepton Mallet. The barrows lie
adjacent to each other and are aligned broadly from north east to south west
on the south facing slope of the Down.
Each barrow is formed by a slightly irregular bowl shaped mound approximately
1.5m in height. The mound of the southernmost barrow is 18m across from
north to south and 16m from east to west. The mound of the northernmost
barrow, located less than 3m north east of the former and separated from it by
a narrow neck of ground, measures 11m from north to south and 15m from east to
A partial excavation of both barrows carried out in 1953 revealed a primary
cremation contained in a rock cut cist, 1.3m across, located in the centre of
the mound of the southernmost barrow. It also revealed that the barrow had
previously been dug into, probably in antiquity. The northernmost barrow
revealed a cremation of a child of about ten years old located just east of
the mound centre on the original ground surface.

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 two bowl barrows on Barren Down, 250m north west of Princes Lodge survive
well as visible monuments in an area which takes its name from the burial
mounds (being a corruption of Barrow Down). They are known from partial
excavation to contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence
relating to the barrows and the landscape in which they were constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 118
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 118

Source: Historic England

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