Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 880m south west of Singlecote Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Thorney, Peterborough

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Latitude: 52.6356 / 52°38'8"N

Longitude: -0.142 / 0°8'31"W

OS Eastings: 525829.400593

OS Northings: 305829.684972

OS Grid: TF258058

Mapcode National: GBR HZ2.LXC

Mapcode Global: WHHND.S0KS

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 880m south west of Singlecote Cottage

Scheduled Date: 26 November 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021312

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33395

County: Peterborough

Civil Parish: Thorney

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Thorney Abbey St Mary and St Botolph

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated 880m south west of Singlecote
Cottage in Little Tower's Fen. The barrow has been covered and protected by
later deposits of marine clay and peat, from which the crown of the mound now
emerges. The remains of the mound are visible as a sandy gravel rise which
stands 0.5m high and measures 25m east-west and 17m north-south. The deeper
lying remains of the barrow are preserved underneath the Fen deposits and
include an encircling ditch, from which earth was dug in the construction of
the mound. It has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a
buried feature and is thought to measure 5m wide by comparison with examples
excavated elsewhere in the area. The barrow is situated on a gravel peninsula
along the prehistoric Fen edge, a location that, with its mixture of wetter
and drier grounds and easy access along the waterways, attracted prehistoric
activity. It is part of a diffuse barrow landscape at Eye and Thorney, other
elements of which are subject to separate schedulings.

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

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 880m south west of Singlecote Cottage is well preserved,
having been protected by overlying deposits of peat and clay. It will contain
a wealth of information relating to the barrow's construction, the manner and
duration of its use, as well as ritual and domestic activity on the site.
Buried soils underneath the mound will retain valuable archaeological
evidence concerning landuse in the area prior to the construction of the
barrow, while organic deposits preserved in the ditch will shed light on
environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna) since the construction
of the barrow. The monument has additional importance as part of a diffuse
barrow landscape at Eye and Thorney.

Source: Historic England

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