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Monument details

HER Number:TR 15 SW 5
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bowl barrow situated in the northern part of Iffin Wood


Bowl barrow 14m diameter and up to 1.6m high, with no trace of ditch. Excavations in 1844 found five urned creamtions.

Grid Reference:TR 1333 5407
Map Sheet:TR15SW

Monument Types

Associated Finds

  • COLLARED URN (Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 1900 BC to 1501 BC)
  • COLLARED URN (Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 1900 BC to 1501 BC)
  • COLLARED URN (Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 1900 BC to 1501 BC)
  • COLLARED URN (Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 1900 BC to 1501 BC)
  • COLLARED URN (Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 1900 BC to 1501 BC)

Full description

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[TR 13335407] Tumulus [NR] (1) A much mutilated bowl barrow in Iffin Wood, about 2 miles from Canterbury, was excavated in 1842 when 5 inverted overhanging rim urns over cremations were found. (2)(3) TR 13335408. A bowl barrow in fair condition measuring 14.0m in diameter, with a maximum height of 1.6m. There is no trace of a ditch. Resurveyed at 1/2500. (4)

From the National Heritage for England List:

The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the northern side of a clay-capped, chalk hill forming part of the Kent Downs, overlooking the river Great Stour to the north west. The barrow has a sub-circular mound 14.3m in diameter and surviving to a height of 1.3m, which has been partially disturbed on the north eastern side by a woodland track. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. The barrow was partially excavated in 1842 when five, inverted Bronze Age pottery vessels, each covering a cremation burial, were discovered inside.

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 protection.

Despite some disturbance by the adjacent, modern woodland track and tree-root action, the bowl barrow in the northern part of Iffin Wood survives comparatively well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. (6)

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> Arch 30 1844 57-61 (plan illust) (JY Akerman) (OS Card Reference). SKE34396.

<3> Arch Cant 74 1960 55 (P Ashbee and GC Dunning) (OS Card Reference). SKE35574.

<4> F1 ASP 20.01.65 (OS Card Reference). SKE42196.

<5> Field report for monument TR 15 SW 5 - January, 1965 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5495.

<6> English Heritage, Register of Scheduled Monuments (Scheduling record). SKE16191.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: Arch 30 1844 57-61 (plan illust) (JY Akerman).
<3>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 74 1960 55 (P Ashbee and GC Dunning).
<4>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 20.01.65.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 15 SW 5 - January, 1965.
<6>XYScheduling record: English Heritage. Register of Scheduled Monuments. [Mapped feature: #774 Barrow, ]