Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 700m NNW of Bridge Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.5169 / 52°31'0"N

Longitude: 0.1369 / 0°8'12"E

OS Eastings: 545094.244401

OS Northings: 293147.215601

OS Grid: TL450931

Mapcode National: GBR L3M.5F3

Mapcode Global: VHHHK.BZ7X

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 700m NNW of Bridge Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020846

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33392

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Wimblington

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Wimblington St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated 700m NNW of Bridge Farm and 100m
east of the outer ramparts of Stonea Camp Iron Age hillfort. The barrow's
mound has been reduced by ploughing but survives as a gravel rise standing up
to 0.4m high and measuring 20m east-west by 22m north-south. Surrounding
the mound is the encircling ditch, from which earth was dug in the
construction of the mound. It has become infilled over the years but survives
as a buried feature. It is visible as a 5m wide soilmark on the ground and
as a cropmark (an area of enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of
moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features) on aerial

In 1961-2 the barrow was partly excavated, revealing that the mound had been
constructed in three stages and covered the remains of at least two cremation
burials. The central interment was that of a woman aged between 30 and 40,
whose ashes were deposited in a 0.7m deep pit, to which the burned remains
of an amber and jet necklace were added. The second and probably contemporary
burial consisted of the ashes of a man between 20 and 25 years old placed in
a 0.4m deep pit. His remains were covered with an inverted urn and sealed
by a small mound of material from the funerary pyre.

Underneath the Bronze Age layers the remains of a Late Neolithic occupation
surface were identified, which had been covered and protected by the
barrow's mound. The investigation identified two stake holes and a 3m wide
shallow hollow with a trodden surface, containing hundreds of late
Neolithic pottery fragments.

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 700m NNW of Bridge Farm survives as an earthwork and is
well preserved despite ploughing and the removal of part of the monument
through archaeological excavation. As archaeological science advances,
the remaining deposits will provide new information relating to the
barrow's construction, the manner and duration of its use, as well as
ritual and domestic activity on the site. The investigation in the 1960s
has shown that the monument offers good potential for the recovery of
artefactual and skeletal material, which provides rare demographic
information on the prehistoric population. Buried soils underneath the
mound retain information concerning land use in the area prior to the
construction of the barrow, preserving, for example, evidence of Neolithic
occupation. The monument has additional importance as part of the
prehistoric landscape of Stonea Island, where some of the best preserved
prehistoric Fenland sites, incuding Stonea Camp hillfort, are found.

Source: Historic England

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