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Name:BOWL BARROW, Tingley Field Plantation, Shillington
HER No.:412
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

The barrow in Tingley Field Plantation is located at the top of a north west facing scarp of the Chilterns and within 500m of the Icknield Way. The burial mound is approx 20m in diameter and almost 3m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, a surrounding ditch from which material was quarried to create the mound exists as a buried feature approx 3m wide. A number of barrows were documented in the area by William Stukeley in the 18th century. It is not known whether the barrow has been excavated. It lies within sight of a second barrow at Knocking Knoll (HER 414).

The barrow is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (No. 20413).

Grid Reference:TL 132 304
Parish:SHILLINGTON, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

<1> Bedfordshire Archaeological Council, Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, Vol 2, 1964, p. 75 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10569.

"…In Tingley Wood Plantation in a round barrow (County no 14) which is probably unexcavated. According to William Stukeley, wrtiting in 1724, east of the Reserve at 'High Downs in a pleasant house bya wood, where in a place called Chapel Close; in this wood are barrows and dykes, perhaps of British original.' This must refer to part of Tingley Wood since the Plantations beside the Reserve did not exist in Stukeley's day. The dykes may refer to some form of Iron Age camp at present unidentified." (W Stukeley: Itinerarium Curiosum (1724) I 73).

<2> The Bedfordshire Archaeologist, Vol. 1, no. 3, 1956, p. 89 (Nicholas Thomas) (Bibliographic reference). SBD10782.

Gazetteer reference to "6/ bowl barrow just S of Knocking Knoll, Pegsdon on county boundary. Unpublished J Dyer Camb Ant Soc Proc (forthcoming)"

<3> Royal Archaeological Institute, Archaeological Journal, Vol. 116, 1959, p. 15 (Article in serial). SBD10785.

Gazetteer reference. Round Barrows. Pegsdon. 14. Tingley Plantation TL 133 304. Dimensions - diameter in paces 20, height in feet 3-4. Overgrown: unexcavated (?).

<4> Ordnance Survey, 1834, O.S. 1", 1st Edition (Map). SBD10662.

Tumulus

<5> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards, OS: TL 13 SW 9 (Unpublished document). SBD10879.

Prob bowl barrow.
(TL 13243047) Tumulus (NR). (OS 1' 1834)
Mound (NR). (OS 6' 1922-60)
Probable bowl barrow with no visible ditch (4), situated in NE corner of Tingley Field Plantation, overgrown and probably unexcavated. In 1955 the trees standing on it had been cut down. ( Arch J 116 1959 15 (J F Dyer) ) & DGB 04-APR-55
The barrow is situated in woodland at the head of a N-facing slope of the chalk escarpment. It measures about 23.0m in diameter by 3.2m high. There is no sign of excavation but the eastern side has suffered from soil slip and appears as a slight tail. Elsewhere, a faint change of slope indication a possible berm suggesting a bell barrow though no ditch was noted. Re-surveyed at 1:2500. PAS 20-SEP-73

<6> Chilterns Standing Conference (Benson, Dyer, Gowing), 1971, Plan for the Chilterns (Bibliographic reference). SBD10892.

29 Pegsdon TL 132 304 Barrow.

<7> Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, p. 144 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10533.

Round Barrow, in Tingley Wood Pegsdon. The mound is 20 ft in diameter and 4 ft high. No record survives of any excavation carried out on the site, and its overgrown state makes examination difficult.

<8> Rob White, Site Visit Notes (Unpublished document). SBD12188.

Barrow in corner of wood. No trace of any ditch but overgrown with saplings.

<9> Bedfordshire Archaeological Council, Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. 2, 1964, p. 28 (Thomas) (Bibliographic reference). SBD10569.

E/MBA barrow, Tingley Plantation, Pegsdon (ref (3)).

<10> English Heritage, SAM Record Form, No. 20413 (Scheduling record). SBD10803.

A large mound about 1.82m in height and 100 paces in circumference. There is apparently no ditch and it is unopened. Ordnance Survey agree that this mound is artificial, probably a round barrow. {1}
A large beech has fallen across the barrow, which is also covered in sycamore saplings. {2}
Sycamore saplings have been cleared, and an attempt made to kill roots of fallen beech by burning. {3}
Fallen beech now dead, but sycamore saplings have re-appeared. {4}
Ground falling away to S make dimensions difficult to assess, but approx 20m.
The barrow is covered in thin grass, dogs mercury, bramble, sycamore saplings and supports 2 mature beech to N/W and S/E. Fallen beech roots still in situ. {5}
No clearance has taken place since last visit. Sycamore saplings now reaching some 5m in height and density of scrub increasing generally on the barrow. No animal disturbance. The entrance to the bridleway approaching the barrow has been blocked at the junction with the B655 with heaps of hardcore and other building remains. This has had the effect of directing the public into the private woodland. However, this is some distance from the barrow, and no public intrusion is visible in this area. {6}
{2} - C Gordon, 1979
{3} - C Gordon, 1980
{4} - C Gordon, 1981
{5} - H Paterson, 1984
{6} - H Paterson, 1987

<11> Mid Beds District Council, 1994, Beds Wildlife Working Group Manual of Wildlife Sites and Species Protection, p. 267 (Unpublished document). SBD10638.

A County Wildlife Site containing special woodland interest. Tingley Field Plantation, mature semi-natural broadleaved woodland and a track bordering the woodland on its western and northern sides.

<12> Sarah Newsome, Historic England, 2017, Measured Survey of Tingley Field Plantation Barrow (Archaeological Report). SBD12751.

The barrow was surveyed in March 2017 by Historic England's Historic Places Investigation Team (East). Brambles and scrub growth impeded the survey in some areas. The barrow measures 42.4m in diameter NE-SW and 35.5m in diameter NW-SE. This suggests that it is slightly elongated on the NE-SW axis though these measurements may have been influenced by down-slope erosion on its western side and the impact of a former land boundary which overlies its southern side. If the gentle slope at the foot of the barrow is interpreted as erosion then the NE-SW axis is 35.7m in diameter making it much more circular. The mound is slightly over 2m in height.

The sides of the barrow have been disturbed by phases of tree growth and fall/removal over many years. The top of barrow appears to be sub-circular in plan and measures 8m (NE-SW) by 6m (NW-SE). From the top the sides of the barrow begin by sloping gently down before steepening up, particularly on the northern and southern sides. The barrow is noticeably less steep on its eastern side suggesting some damage may have occurred in this area.

The berm depicted on the 1979 OS map is not evident from the recent survey. Sections of possible berm around 1.5m wide were recorded about 10m from the top of the barrow to the north and south but a possible section to the east appears to be running diagonally across the main barrow slope and is probably a much later feature. The impression of a berm is created on the southern side of the barrow by an E-W bank which runs up on to its flank creating a levelled area. The bank continues for about 15m to the west beyond the barrow. Beyond the barrow the bank is around 3.25m wide but it is difficult to discern where bank ends and the barrow starts creating a false impression that the mound is flattened on its southern side.

Another scarp around 2.2m wide runs from south to north towards the SE corner of the barrow before widening and turning east on a similar alignment to the other bank. Both features are probably the remnants of later land boundaries and it is notable these appear to coincide with a step in the 19th century plantation boundary. To the east of the barrow are two roughly E-W orientated scarps, the most northerly of which appears to run over the gentle scarp at the northern side of the foot of the barrow whilst the relationship between the southern scarp and the barrow is unclear. It is possible that the scarps represent some sort of former boundary but it also interesting that they align with a gap in the berm depicted on the 1979 map and the long gentle slope that forms the eastern side of the mound.

No evidence of the position of the ditch was observed at the time of survey. Its size and topographic position suggests it is likely to be of late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age date.

<13> HER Photograph Archive, F863/4A, 21st January 1994 (Photograph). SBD10506.

Colour image of flattish looking barrow under low vegetation.

<14> HER Slide Archive, 5433 (Slide). SBD10508.

Image of site covered in dead twigs and vegetation.

<15> Ministry of Works, Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings, 5/10/1955 (Unpublished document). SBD11857.

Letter & Map showing extent of Scheduled area and confirming site had been scheduled.

<16> Ordnance Survey, 1979, Ordnance Survey 1:2500, 1979 (Map). SBD10786.

Map showing earthwork site

<17> Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments Record Form, 24/9/79 (Unpublished document). SBD11883.

This barrow is on the same ridge and nearly within sight of Bucks Monument No 59. It is in good …. A large (20m) beech tree has recently fallen across the barrow which is also covered with sycamore saplings. It lies in the corner of a beech plantation which must be approaching maturity. A public footpath …. Close it it which give access otthe Nature Conservancy Area in Pegsdon Common.

<18> English Heritage, Notification of Scheduling, or an Affirmation or Revision of Scheduling, 23/1/1992 (Scheduling record). SBD12102.

Letter confirming that the extent of the Scheduled Area remains unchanged following review.

<19> Martin Oake, Site Visit Notes, 21/1/1994 (Observations and Comments). SBD12717.

A report received that a trench had been dug into barrow.
No sign of hole visible but there was an area of disturbance c 3x2m on crown of mound which looked like the back filling of a hole. The backfiling had been carefully but recently done (? By the owner).

<20> NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, 362597 (Index). SBD12367.

A probable late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age sub-circular bowl or bell barrow survives as an earthwork mound in the north-eastern corner of Tingley Field Plantation, Shillington, Central Bedfordshire. A rapid measured survey undertaken in March 2017 by Historic England cast doubt on previous suggestions of a berm or step around the mound and did not identify the position of the ditch.

<21> English Heritage, Scheduling File (Unpublished document). SBD13221.

The mound is shown in open ground on the Ordnance Survey One Inch Original Series map of 1834 . By the time the 1st edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey map was surveyed (published 1882) the plantation had been established (6). The Ordnance Survey 1979 1:2500 First Edition (National Grid) map depicts a neat mound with a very clear berm and a gap in the eastern side of the outermost scarp (1:2500, 1979). The mound was Scheduled in 1955 and the Schedule revised in 1992 . On 25 March 1994 the Field Monument Warden recorded that the landowner said that a ‘local walker has observed a 3ft deep trench excavated on the summit of the barrow. This [sic] presumably the work of a Treasure Hunter. The spoil had been pushed back into the cavity�. No finds were noted.

<22> Historic England, 2017, Measured Survey of Tingley Field Plantation Barrow (Archaeological Report). SBD13388.

The barrow measures 42.4m in diameter northeast-southwest and 35.5m in diameter northwest-southeast suggesting that the barrow is slightly elongated on the northeast-southwest axis, though these measurements may have been influenced by down-slope erosion on the western side of the barrow and the impact of a former land boundary which overlies its southern side. If the gentle slope at the foot of the barrow is considered to be erosion then the northeast-southwest axis is 35.7m in diameter making it much more circular. The mound is slightly over 2m in height.
Brambles and scrub growth impeded the survey in some areas. The sides of the barrow have been disturbed by phases of tree growth and removal/fall over many years. The top of the barrow appears to be sub-circular in plan and measures 8m (NE-SW) by 6m (NW-SE). From the top the sides of the barrow begin by sloping gently down before steepening up, particularly on the northern and southern sides. The barrow is noticeably less steep on its eastern side suggesting some damage may have occurred in this area.
The berm shown on the 1979 OS map is not evident from the recent survey. Sections of possible berm around 1.5m wide were recorded about 10m from the top of the barrow to the north and south but a possible section to the east appears to run diagonally across the main barrow slope and may be a later feature.
On the southern side of the barrow the impression of a berm is created by an east-west bank which runs up on its flank and continues for about 15m to the west beyond the barrow. Beyond the barrow the bank is around 3.25m wide. It is difficult to discern where bank ends and the barrow starts, creating a false impression that the barrow is flattened on its southern side.
Another scarp around 2.2m wide runs from south to north towards the south-eastern corner of the barrow before widening and turning east on a similar alignment to the other bank. Both features are probably the remnants of later land boundaries and it is notable these appear to coincide with a step in the 19th century plantation boundary.
To the east of the barrow are two roughly east-west orientated scarps, the most northerly of which appears to run over the gentle scarp at the foot of the barrow, whilst the relationship between the southern scarp and the barrow is unclear. It is possible that the scarps represent some sort of former boundary but it also interesting that they align with a gap in the berm, depicted on the 1979 map, and the long gentle slope that forms the eastern side of the mound where some damage may have occurred.
No evidence for the position of the ditch was observed at the time of survey. It is likely that the material for the mound was quarried from a surrounding ditch which may have been infilled with material, some eroded from the mound itself, over thousands of years making it no longer visible.

Further thoughs: Though there is no excavation evidence from the mound, its topographic position and location close to the ancient Icknield routeway suggest it is most likley to be a burial mound of late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age date. Though the presence of berm could not be confidently established, it should be noted that the simplicity of the barrow mound could belie a very complex history of construction and use. Archaeological evidence for Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon activity (including a cemetery) in the area (NRHE 362634; Dyer 1964, 75) suggests that a later origin for, or at least reuse of, the mound is also possible.

Protected Status:

  • Archaeological Notification Area
  • Archaeological Notification Area (AI) HER412: BOWL BARROW, Tingley Field Plantation
  • Scheduled Monument 1010369: Bowl Barrow in Tingley Field Plantation, near Pegsdon
  • SHINE: Scheduled Monument; Bowl Barrow at Tingley Field Plantation

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • EBD1842 - Measured Survey of Tingley Field Plantation Barrow

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SBD10569 - Bibliographic reference: Bedfordshire Archaeological Council. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 2, 1964, p. 75.
[2]SBD10782 - Bibliographic reference: The Bedfordshire Archaeologist. Vol. 1, no. 3, 1956, p. 89 (Nicholas Thomas).
[3]SBD10785 - Article in serial: Royal Archaeological Institute. Archaeological Journal. Vol. 116, 1959, p. 15.
[4]SBD10662 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1834. O.S. 1", 1st Edition.
[5]SBD10879 - Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards. OS: TL 13 SW 9.
[6]SBD10892 - Bibliographic reference: Chilterns Standing Conference (Benson, Dyer, Gowing). 1971. Plan for the Chilterns.
[7]SBD10533 - Bibliographic reference: Nikolaus Pevsner. 1968. The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough. p. 144.
[8]SBD12188 - Unpublished document: Rob White. Site Visit Notes.
[9]SBD10569 - Bibliographic reference: Bedfordshire Archaeological Council. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 2, 1964, p. 28 (Thomas).
[10]SBD10803 - Scheduling record: English Heritage. SAM Record Form. No. 20413.
[11]SBD10638 - Unpublished document: Mid Beds District Council. 1994. Beds Wildlife Working Group Manual of Wildlife Sites and Species Protection. p. 267.
[12]SBD12751 - Archaeological Report: Sarah Newsome, Historic England. 2017. Measured Survey of Tingley Field Plantation Barrow.
[13]SBD10506 - Photograph: HER Photograph Archive. F863/4A, 21st January 1994.
[14]SBD10508 - Slide: HER Slide Archive. 5433.
[15]SBD11857 - Unpublished document: Ministry of Works. Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings. 5/10/1955.
[16]SBD10786 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1979. Ordnance Survey 1:2500, 1979.
[17]SBD11883 - Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Ancient Monuments Record Form. 24/9/79.
[18]SBD12102 - Scheduling record: English Heritage. Notification of Scheduling, or an Affirmation or Revision of Scheduling. 23/1/1992.
[19]SBD12717 - Observations and Comments: Martin Oake. Site Visit Notes. 21/1/1994.
[20]SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. 362597.
[21]SBD13221 - Unpublished document: English Heritage. Scheduling File.
[22]SBD13388 - Archaeological Report: Historic England. 2017. Measured Survey of Tingley Field Plantation Barrow.