Ancient Monuments

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Burnt mounds in Woodlands Park, 540m and 640m west of The Pavilion

A Scheduled Monument in Bournville, Birmingham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4206 / 52°25'14"N

Longitude: -1.9498 / 1°56'59"W

OS Eastings: 403508.735304

OS Northings: 280286.962709

OS Grid: SP035802

Mapcode National: GBR 5NZ.B5

Mapcode Global: VH9Z8.5F27

Entry Name: Burnt mounds in Woodlands Park, 540m and 640m west of The Pavilion

Scheduled Date: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020540

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35109

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Bournville

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Bournville

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

Details

The monument includes the known extent of the buried and earthworks remains
of two burnt mounds in Woodlands Park. They lie in two areas of protection,
located in an area of public open space lying on either side of Woodlands Park
Road. The burnt mounds are visible as two deposits of burnt and heat crazed
cobbles approximately 70m apart, orientated east to west and located on the
banks of a small stream. The mounds are concentrated on both sides of the
stream. The easternmost mound is the largest measuring 60m long and
approximately 7.5m wide. Its matrix of burnt stones and charcoal 0.5m deep
overlying an orange alluvium base as well as a possible pit has been exposed
in the banks of the stream. A resistivity and magnotometer survey in 1982
confirmed the extent of the mound. A second smaller mound composed of a thick
deposit of stones in black soil lies to the west. It is approximately circular
and measures less than 10m in diameter. Carbon 14 dates have confirmed that
the burnt mounds are approximately 3000 years old.
All modern paths and surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A burnt mound is an accumulation of burnt (fire-crazed) stones, ash and
charcoal, usually sited next to a river or lake. On excavation, some form of
trough or basin capable of holding water is normally found in close
association with the mound. The size of the mound can vary considerably; small
examples may be under 0.5m high and less than 10m in diameter, larger examples
may exceed 3m in height and be 35m in diameter. The shape of the mound ranges
from circular to crescentic. The associated trough or basin may be found
within the body of the mound or, more usually, immediately adjacent to it. At
sites which are crescentic in shape the trough is normally found within the
`arms' of the crescent and the mound has the appearance of having developed
around it.
The main phase of use of burnt mounds spans the Early, Middle and Late Bronze
Age, a period of around 1000 years. The function of the mounds has been a
matter of some debate, but it appears that cooking, using heated stones to
boil water in a trough or tank, is the most likely use. Some excavated sites
have revealed several phases of construction, indicating that individual sites
were used more than once.
Burnt mounds are found widely scattered throughout the British Isles, with
around 100 examples identified in England. As a rare monument type which
provides an insight into life in the Bronze Age, all well-preserved examples
will normally be identified as nationally important.

The burnt mounds in Woodlands Park, 540m and 640m west of The Pavilion are
well-preserved examples of a pair of mounds located adjacent to a water
source. They are expected to preserve evidence for their construction and
use, as well as evidence of associated settlement remains and buried land
surfaces which will provide important evidence of their relationship to
Bronze Age society. In addition, the waterlogged conditions will preserve
environmental and organic evidence such as weeds, pollen and seeds which will
further understanding of the prehistoric environment surrounding these sites.

Source: Historic England

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