Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two bowl barrows 940m south east of Bar Pasture Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Thorney, Peterborough

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Latitude: 52.5999 / 52°35'59"N

Longitude: -0.1422 / 0°8'31"W

OS Eastings: 525920.536525

OS Northings: 301853.099071

OS Grid: TF259018

Mapcode National: GBR HZG.T16

Mapcode Global: WHHND.SXG7

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 940m south east of Bar Pasture Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 November 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021313

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33396

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 two bowl barrows situated 940m south east of Bar
Pasture Farm. The barrows have been covered and protected by later deposits
of marine clay and peat, from which the mounds emerge. They are visible as
sandy gravel rises against the darker peat. The easternmost barrow's mound
stands 0.4m high and measures 40m in diameter, while the westernmost mound is
0.3m high with a 30m diameter. The deeper lying remains of the barrows are
preserved underneath the Fen deposits and include encircling ditches, from
which earth was dug in the construction of the mounds. They have become
infilled over the years but survive as buried features visible on air
photographs as cropmarks (areas of enhanced growth resulting from higher
levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features). By
comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the area, they are thought to
measure approximately 5m wide. Several pieces of ploughed up worked flint
have been found on top of the mounds. The barrows are situated on a gravel
island along the prehistoric Fen edge, a location that, with its mixture of
wetter and drier soils and easy access along the waterways, attracted
prehistoric activity. The barrows are part of a diffuse barrow landscape,
elements of which are subject to separate schedulings.

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 two bowl barrows 940m south east of Bar Pasture Farm are well preserved,
having been protected by overlying deposits of peat and clay. They will
contain a wealth of information relating to the barrows' construction, the
manner and duration of their use, as well as ritual and domestic activity on
the site. Buried soils underneath the mounds will retain valuable
archaeological evidence concerning landuse in the area prior to the
construction of the barrows, while organic deposits preserved in the ditches
will shed light on environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna)
since the construction of the barrows. The monument has additional importance
as part of a diffuse barrow landscape.

Source: Historic England

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