Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards

A Scheduled Monument in Totland, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6691 / 50°40'8"N

Longitude: -1.5546 / 1°33'16"W

OS Eastings: 431568.33087

OS Northings: 85583.6406

OS Grid: SZ315855

Mapcode National: GBR 67Q.XDP

Mapcode Global: FRA 77M9.Q4W

Entry Name: Round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020266

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33970

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Totland

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Totland Bay Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a round barrow situated on a slight saddle between the
chalk escarpments of Headon Hill and West High Down. Despite its apparently
inconspicuous situation today, it would originally have been a skyline feature
when viewed from either the east or the west. The barrow mound is sub-circular
in plan, a maximum of 19m in diameter and up to 1m in height. A ditch, from
which material was excavated for the barrow's construction, surrounds the
mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried
feature approximately 2m in width.
Documentary sources suggest that there was originally a small barrow cemetery
within this area, of which the barrow west of the Old Coastguards was the most
southerly. A further surviving barrow 130m to the NNW is the subject of a
separate scheduling, whilst the construction of the new Alum Bay road is
believed to have disturbed a third barrow which originally lay between them.

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

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
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 round barrow 100m west of Old Coastguards survives as a substantial
earthwork which will retain archaeological information pertaining to its
construction and use. In addition the old land surface sealed beneath the
mound and the fill of the encircling ditch are likely to contain environmental
evidence relating to the landscape in which the barrow was placed.

Source: Historic England


Isle of Wight County Council, Record Number 4330, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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