Monument record BGL 008 - Eight Round Barrows on Martlesham Heath; Brightwell Heath; Black Hill

Please read our .


Scheduled Ancient Monument - a pillbox of Second World War date can be seen as a structure inserted into, and seriously damaging, the earthwork of a Round Barrow of probable Bronze Age date on Brightwell Heath, Brightwell parish.


Grid reference Centred TM 2495 4459 (25m by 22m)
Map sheet TM24SW


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

1838: Shown as tumulus & named Black Hill on OS 1st edition map (S5). Round Barrow (site of).
1935: Tree covered bowl barrow (reference to a photograph)(S1).
1962: Barrow virtually destroyed by construction of war-time pill-box at the centre and with brick revetted trenches around the pill box. Original diameter of barrow cannot now be determined. Its maximum height is about1. 7m (S2).
1977: Largely destroyed by war-time pill box and trenches. Island in field (S3).
1981: Covered in grass and bracken and scrubby trees. Large animal holes, 2 ft high brick wall on S perimeter. N slightly cut into by plough. Pill box on top (S4).
1985: Unploughed in arable field, covered with grass, bracken and elders, standing to approx 1.7m high. Brick and concrete pill box dug into centre of mound, trench dug into mound around its S edge, lined with brick along its outer face. Irregular profile of mound shows presence of upcast from these operations. Pill box in good condition, brick revetting of trench deteriorating (S4).
A pillbox of Second World War date can be seen as a structure inserted into, and seriously damaging, the earthwork of a Round Barrow of probable Bronze Age date, centred on circa TM249445 on Brightwell Heath, Brightwell parish. The diameter of the surviving earthwork is irregular but measures up to approximately 25 metres. The pillbox, possibly a type 22, was probably built within the perimeter of Martlesham Heath airbase to provide protection against potential invading forces, along with a number of other similar defences in the immediate area. Such defensive structures that have been constructed within possible archaeological monuments have been transcribed. However, the extensive barbed wire obstructions, slit trenches and related anti-invasion defences which extend throughout the airfield and surround such features have not been transcribed. (S6, S7)
2011: Level three survey of the pillbox. This revealed graffiti of Second World War date and more recent years. The Second World War graffiti included details of idividuals who were presumably based at Martleshamas well as images of a dreadnought battleship and a rare M-Class submarine which appear to have been drawn in pencil or ink (S9).

450m NW of Sheep Drift Farm., Martlesham Heath airfield. Pillbox on bowl barrow, and scheduled with it (S8).

2008: An assessment of aerial photographs noted the presence of tree-covered mounds in the area, one of which was recorded on OS maps as a tumulus. (S10)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <S1> (No record type): NWHCM, 1935.
  • <M1> (No record type): Barrow survey:.
  • <R1> Bibliographic reference: Lawson A J, Martin E A & Priddy D. 1981. The Barrows of East Anglia.
  • <M2> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <S2> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM24SW22.
  • <S3> (No record type): Martin, E.A.. Martin E, SAU, 1977.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information.
  • <S5> (No record type): OS, 1st ed 1 inch map, 1838.
  • <S6> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1937 4218-9 18-JAN-1947.
  • <S7> Photograph: OS, AP. OS OS/89045 101-3 -18-MAR-1989.
  • <S8> Digital archive: Defence of Britain Project archive. UORN: S0008136.
  • <S9> Unpublished document: Brooks, R. 2012. Martlesham Heath WWII structures, Martlesham, MRM 140.
  • <S10> Unpublished document: Palmer, R.. 2008. Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, Area centred TM258448.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (8)

Record last edited

Nov 8 2022 4:35PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.