Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Massingham Common: 900m and 930m south west of Field Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Rougham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.754 / 52°45'14"N

Longitude: 0.6744 / 0°40'27"E

OS Eastings: 580583.5677

OS Northings: 320730.7865

OS Grid: TF805207

Mapcode National: GBR Q6R.9BN

Mapcode Global: WHKQH.B1DJ

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Massingham Common: 900m and 930m south west of Field Barn

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1927

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020938

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35069

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Rougham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Great Massingham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument, which is in two separate areas of protection, includes the
remains of two bowl barrows located at the northern edge of Massingham Common.
The barrows are situated on former heathland at the western edge of the Good
Sands upland region of north west Norfolk.

The easternmost barrow is visible as a sub-circular, slightly raised mound
measuring approximately 28m in diameter, surrounded by a ditch with an
external bank. The ditch, which has become partly infilled, is marked by a
hollow 3m wide and up to 0.3m deep, except for a length on the south side
where it lies adjacent to a modern quarry pit. The external bank, measuring
1.5m wide and 0.15m high, is visible around the outer edge of the north east
portion of the ditch.

The westernmost barrow, approximately 140m to the north west, is visible as a
mound which stands to a height of 0.5m. This was originally circular in plan,
although it has been partly levelled on the north and south sides and now
covers an area measuring 24m east-west by 5m. A cropmark (line of differential
crop growth) indicates that the original area of the mound is encircled by a
ditch about 3m wide, which has become infilled but which survives as a buried
feature. The diameter of the barrow, including the original area of the mound
and the ditch, is approximately 30m.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them 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 barrows on Massingham Common 900m and 930m south west of Field Barn
survive well as a series of earthwork and buried remains. Although both have
undergone some disturbance, the barrows will preserve archaeological
information concerning their construction and date. Evidence for the local
environment at the time of construction will be contained in buried soils
beneath the mounds and in the fill of the ditches. As one of several groups of
barrows in this part of Norfolk they provide evidence for the character and
development of the prehistoric landscape.

Source: Historic England


Norfolk SMR, NF3666, (2002)
Norfolk SMR, NF3667, (2002)
Norfolk SMR, NF3668, (2002)

Source: Historic England

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