Bowl Barrow Scheduled Ancient Monument

Bowl Barrow Ancient Monument

Bowl Barrow Scheduled Ancient Monument

This circular earth mound is located in the Upper Park and is known locally as the Rolling Pin. The entire monument is thought to consist of the barrow plus a quarry ditch. However, there is no visible evidence of the ditch and only the barrow is scheduled. The barrow is interpreted as a late prehistoric bowl barrow. The flat top of the mound indicates that a later structure was placed on the site, but the secondary uses of the site have not been clarified. To date there have been no archaeological investigations to determine the nature of the monument. It is locally believed that the barrow was the site of a seventeenth century smock mill. The site may also have been used as a belvedere tower. The view from this area of the Park extends out across Chesham town to the hills beyond and on to the Chilterns.

Current condition

The mound was inspected by an English Heritage Historic Environment Field Adviser in November 2007 and was described as being in excellent condition. The barrow is covered with a short sward and has ornamental trees planted around the mound obscuring the view of the town. The root systems of the trees may have caused damage to the barrow when growing, but as the majority are ornamental cherries, when the trees die they will decay in situ which will cause minimal soil disturbance. There is no interpretation so the casual viewer has no concept of the origin or theories surrounding the Rolling Pin or the function of barrows.

Future Plans

The current mowing schedule will be continued to maintain a short grass sward. The barrow will be monitored for signs of wear or damage from humans and rabbit damage. Advice will be sought from English Nature in the event of wear/damage being detected (e.g. were a commonly-used walking route over the barrow to develop).

Based on guidance from English Heritage, no work will be undertaken in the area of the monument that would break the ground surface. If a project of this nature was to be considered in the future, permission would be sought from English Heritage.

A decision will be made concerning the future of the ornamental trees, i.e. to be removed or left in situ. However, if left, once the current trees have died and decayed, no replacement planting will take place to prevent any further damage to the barrow.

Near the monument, an interpretation panel will be erected explaining the Rolling Pin and the development of Chesham, as this provides the best view of the town.

News & Events

Aug 23, 2015
Category: News
Posted by: andrew

We would like to invite everyone in Chesham to come along and enjoy Lowndesbourne 2015 and the first ever Town Picnic. It’s from 1pm - 4.30pm on Sunday 6th September at the performance area in Lowndes Park. Bring yourselves, your family, a picnic and deckchairs and sit back and enjoy some fabulous music. For your pleasure we have 4 opera singers, a string quartet and a brass quintet. Tea and cake will be available for purchase and we are hoping to have a bar. This event has been organised in conjunction with Chesham Town Council and we are very grateful to Waitrose who have supported us to the sum of £210.00.

Aug 22, 2015
Category: News
Posted by: andrew
Come and meet us in the Town Hall between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 12th September. We would be delighted to talk to you about the work we do for Lowndes Park and Chesham. It is part of Volunteer Chesham; a Mayoral event to bring potential volunteer organisations together under one roof. For further information about the event please click here.
Aug 21, 2015
Category: News
Posted by: andrew

The next Friends of Lowndes Park working party will be on Sunday 13 September 2015. We meet at 10am in the Archena Garden which is next to the Temperance Hall in Church Street.

May 18, 2015
Category: News
Posted by: andrew
The Summer 2015 edition of our latest Newsletter is now available. Please click on the header to download it and all our previous ones.


website: Robert Craig