Record Details

NHER Number:3527
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bronze Age barrow


This Bronze Age barrow was excavated in 1843 by F.R. Lukis. He excavated part of the mound and found Bronze Age pottery, cremated bone and fragments of charcoal. The mound is surrounded by a ditch which has now become infilled. The barrow is part of a cluster of Bronze Age barrows on Harpley Common.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7593 2838
Map Sheet:TF72NE

Full description

Bell Barrow 900m northeast of Crow Hall, Harpley Common.

Barrow on common.
A well defined tumulus about 3m (10 feet) high and 91m (100 yards) circumference. 23m (25 yards) to west of Anmer to Rudham road. Covered with bracken. Ditch hardly noticeable but exists. Flakes. This tumulus is opposite Bunkers Hill, finest in county. Local tradition asserts that treasure is buried in this tumulus and moreover it is said that rabbits will not burrow in it, or if they do they soon come out (them dumb beasts, they know). Strangely enough there are very few rabbit burrows. Excavated 1843 by Lukis. Explanation of Harpley Barrow referred to in D. Gurney's letter of 3rd June 1843.
See (S1).
A.Q. Watson 12 October 1935 and R.R. Clarke (NCM).

This is apparently the barrow referred to in the Lukis notes as having charcoal at 90cm (3 foot) depth, then burnt bones and wood, another layer of these at 1.8m (6 feet), and natural at 3m (10 feet). Portions of 'jars' were found at 46cm (18 inches) depth.
See (S1).

27m diameter, 3m high, covered in elders. No sign of ditch.
A.J. Lawson (NAU), 7 February 1974.

18 May 1983.
Now only 25.50m diameter, heavily damaged by plough south and southwest sides severe rabbit infestation; apparent damage. See [1].
D.A. Edwards (NAU).

August 1983.
Ploughed to base of mound.

November 1983.
Damaged by ploughing. See [2].

January 1986.
Ploughing exposed gravel base of mound.

Harrowed very close to mound but not sown within 1m.

Damaged by ploughing.
J.J. Wymer (NAU).

4 March 1991. Visit.
Covered in rough grass, bracken and some brambles. Perimeter marker posts erected for protection, some knocked over, allowing plough encroachment, especially to east.
H. Paterson (A&E), 4 March 1991.

1993. Found in bare soil on surface of barrow.
Rim sherds Beaker with string impressed decoration including horizontal line on inside of rim.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 19 January 1994.

Monument Types

  • BELL BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)

Protected Status

  • Management Statement
  • Scheduled Monument
  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished Report: Wymer, J. 1988. A Further Report on the Condition of Barrows in the County and the Question of their Preservation.
---Aerial Photograph: TF7527 A-C; TF7528 A-C,F,Q,U-AA,AJ-AM,AU; TF7627 E,ABK; TF7628 A,B,E.
---Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1913. Norfolk Barrows. The Antiquary. Vol XLIX pp 416-423. p 420.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 72 NE 16 [3].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Unpublished Document: Paterson, H. (A&E). Norfolk Ancient Monuments Management Project Site Form.
---Article in Monograph: Lawson, A. 1976. The Excavation of a Round Barrow at Harpley. Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 2 pp 45-64. p 47.
---Unpublished Document: Edwards, D.A.. 1989. Statement on the Aerial Photography of Plough Damage to Four Prehistoric Burial Mounds (Scheduled Ancient Monuments) at Harpley, Norfolk. 22 February.
---Unpublished Document: Wymer, J.. 1989. A statement on the discovery of recent plough-damage to four prehistoric burial mounds scheduled as Ancient Monuments. 21 February.
---Monograph: Lawson, A. J., Martin, E., Priddy, D. and Taylor, A. 1981. The Barrows of East Anglia. East Anglian Archaeology. No 12.
---Article in Serial: Robertson, D. & Paterson, H.. 2010. The Norfolk Monuments Management Project 1990-2010. Twenty Years Conserving the County's Rural Historic Environment.. Norfolk Archaeology. XLVI, pp 15-28.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Harpley.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1989. CXT 8 to 9, CXX 6 to 7, EQF 11 to 12, EQG 13 to 14. Harpley Barrows.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF121.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF121.
---Unpublished Document: Edwrds, D.. 1983. Condition report on barrows at Harpley and Anmer Minque.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Lukis, F.C.. Extract from one of the Lukis M.S. Note Books in Guernsey Museum..

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