Ancient Monuments

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Four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa

A Scheduled Monument in Ladock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3546 / 50°21'16"N

Longitude: -4.9386 / 4°56'18"W

OS Eastings: 191061.386804

OS Northings: 54645.026191

OS Grid: SW910546

Mapcode National: GBR ZN.BN10

Mapcode Global: FRA 08J3.CV3

Entry Name: Four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa

Scheduled Date: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020750

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32961

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Ladock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Ladock

Church of England Diocese: Truro


This monument includes four later prehistoric round barrows, situated on a
moderate slope above a south west spur from a prominent north-south
aligned ridge, east of Summercourt. They are associated with other barrows
beyond this scheduling, forming an outlying group in a wider ridg e-top
prehistoric barrow cemetery.
All four barrows have mounds of earth and stone, with no known surrounding
ditches. They are closely grouped, and fairly evenly spaced, forming an
alignment running roughly south west-north east, with the pair at the
north east end being aligned closer to WSW-ENE
The mound of the barrow at the south west end of the group has a diameter
of 10m and a low but regular curving profile, up to 0.2m high. The barrow
mound to its north east measures 12.7m in diameter. Again, it has a gently
rounded profile, its height being approximately 0.5m. The mound of the
third barrow, to the north east of the other two, is slightly oval in
plan, its dimensions being 14.7m north east-south west and 12.4m north
west-south east. It is flat-topped, and has some disturbed hollows in its
top and west side, but is up to 0.5m high. An old map shows that the
barrow mound at the north west end of the group was also oval. It is now
partially spread up to the boundary bank on its north west side, its
visible plan being roughly D-shaped, measuring 16.6m across
north east-south west and 13.5m north west-south east. It has a fairly
regular curving profile, and is up to 0.7m high.
The modern fencing, gate and gate fittings, and agricultural equipment, are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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

Despite limited disturbance, the four round barrows 480m north of Besowsa
survive well. The mounds remain substantially intact, and the old land
surfaces beneath the mounds and any deposits associated with them will
also survive. They provide a good example of the linear arrangement of
barrows, and illustrate the important role of topography in Bronze Age
funerary activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Milln, J, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, Parish of Ladock, (1975), 108
Milln, J, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, Parish of Ladock, (1975), 108
MS at RIC library, Truro, Henderson, C, History of the Parish of Ladock, (1920)
Title: Ladock Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1839
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1908

Source: Historic England

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