Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of The Four Winds

A Scheduled Monument in Newborough, Peterborough

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Latitude: 52.6308 / 52°37'50"N

Longitude: -0.2425 / 0°14'32"W

OS Eastings: 519047.7365

OS Northings: 305124.5253

OS Grid: TF190051

Mapcode National: GBR HZ3.5HM

Mapcode Global: WHHNC.74SG

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows and a ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of The Four Winds

Scheduled Date: 26 November 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021318

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33407

County: Peterborough

Civil Parish: Newborough

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Newborough St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument includes three bowl barrows and a ring ditch which lie within
two separate areas of protection, situated approximately 590m and 500m north
west of The Four Winds. The barrows have been covered and protected by later
deposits of marine clay and peat, from which the mounds now emerge. They are
visible as sandy gravel rises against the darker peat. The deeper lying
remains of the barrows are preserved underneath the Fen deposits and include
their encircling ditches, from which earth was dug in the construction of the
mounds. The ditches have become infilled over the years but survive as buried
features, which are visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks (areas of
enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the
underlying archaeological features). The ring ditch is preserved as a buried
feature visible as a cropmark, as well as a soilmark on the ground during dry
The westernmost barrow mound is partly preserved underneath Drain Road, and
partly in a ploughed field, where it is visible as a 0.1m high rise with
diameter of 16m. It survives to a greater height underneath Drain Road, which
rises as it crosses the barrow and lies about 2m higher than the neighbouring
field. The barrow's encircling ditch is thought to measure 4m wide by
comparison with examples excavated elsewhere in the area. Immediately to the
north east is a 4m wide ring ditch, which encloses an area 16m in diameter.
At its centre is a small circular ditch.
About 90m to the south east is a group of two barrows protected in a separate
area. The westernmost barrow's mound stands up to 0.1m high with a diameter
of 11m. Its surrounding ditch is thought to measure 3m wide. About 50m to the
north east is another barrow, whose mound measures 16m in diameter and 0.3m
high and is encircled by a 4m wide ditch.
The barrows and ring ditch are situated on river gravels 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, other elements of which are subject
to separate schedulings.
The modern surfacing of Drain Road is excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath it 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 and ring ditch 590m and 500m north west of the Four Winds
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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