Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 580m east of Mount Pleasant Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Manea, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.4742 / 52°28'27"N

Longitude: 0.1093 / 0°6'33"E

OS Eastings: 543358.984432

OS Northings: 288343.313674

OS Grid: TL433883

Mapcode National: GBR L3Z.Y5N

Mapcode Global: VHHHX.V24L

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 580m east of Mount Pleasant Bridge

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020394

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33370

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Manea

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Chatteris St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on Honey Hill, 580m east of Mount
Pleasant Bridge. It is situated on a gravel island along the Fen edge; a
location that with its wetter and drier ground attracted ritual and settlement
activity from the Neolithic period onwards. The barrow is part of a spread of
barrow clusters along the eastern side of the Chatteris gravel island and in
the vicinity are two more barrows which are subject to separate schedulings;
one lies 110m to the north east, the other 420m to the south east.

The mound of the barrow in this scheduling has been partly spread by modern
ploughing, and now stands 1m high, covering an area of approximately 35m in
diameter. The original mound is likely to have measured about 20m in diameter,
as a survey conducted in 1978 suggests. The spread remains cover the buried
deposits of a surrounding ditch from which earth was dug in the construction
of the mound, which became infilled over the years but is visible as a buried
feature on aerial photographs. It is expected to measure up to 5m wide, as
evidence from examples excavated elsewhere in the area suggests. The barrow is
surrounded by the buried remains of a square enclosure, visible on aerial
photographs, which measures approximately 35m east-west by 50m north-south.

The function and date of the enclosure remain unknown, although it has been
suggested that it may have been Romano-British in origin, serving perhaps as a
shrine based on the existing barrow. To the north west the enclosure extends
into a drove, part of a diffuse Iron Age and Romano-British settlement, which
at present is inadequately understood and is not included in the scheduling.

On top of the mound prehistoric flints were found, as well as medieval pottery
fragments, spread from an occupation site south of the barrow. The survival of
the medieval settlement remains has not been determined and it is therefore
not included in the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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 580m east of Mount Pleasant Bridge is one of the few surviving
examples of a formerly extensive round barrow cemetery, which has now been
largely destroyed by ploughing. It is better preserved than most barrows in
the area, as it has been under plough only since 1972. It appears to be
unexcavated and will contain a wealth of archaeological evidence relating to
activity on the site, including the manner and date of its construction, its
use and the appearance of the landscape in which it was set. The monument has
additional value as part of an important archaeological landscape, which
preserves remains of Iron Age and Romano-British settlement, in which it stood
out as an important local landmark, or even ritual site, as the surrounding
enclosure suggests.

Source: Historic England

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