Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Chanctonbury Hill, 560m north east of Frieslands

A Scheduled Monument in Washington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8968 / 50°53'48"N

Longitude: -0.3964 / 0°23'47"W

OS Eastings: 512868.058782

OS Northings: 112041.570069

OS Grid: TQ128120

Mapcode National: GBR HLH.NM9

Mapcode Global: FRA B61Q.Z7W

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Chanctonbury Hill, 560m north east of Frieslands

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020352

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32241

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Washington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Washington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on a chalk spur which projects
towards the north west from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The barrow, which
overlooks a disused quarry to the west, has a roughly circular mound, about
12.5m in diameter and 0.7m high. The mound is surrounded by a ditch from which
material used to construct the barrow was excavated. The ditch has become
infilled over the years but part excavation during the 1950s has shown that
it survives as a buried feature about 1m wide and 0.45m deep. An inhumation
burial and an associated bronze dagger were discovered during the excavation
beneath the centre of the mound, and a later cremation burial was found in
the ditch.
The barrow has been partly disturbed by past modern ploughing on its eastern
The modern fence which crosses 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 on Chanctonbury Hill survives comparatively well, despite
subsequent disturbance, and part excavation has demonstrated that it contains
archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the
construction and use of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ratcliffe-Densham, HBA, Sussex Archaeological Collection: A Woman of Wessex Culture, (1968), 40-48

Source: Historic England

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