Bowl barrow known as Michael Morey's Hump, and a Highway Commission barrier on Gallows Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Arreton, Isle of Wight.
The barrow is called Michael Morey's Hump.


Latitude: 50.6841 / 5041'2"N
Longitude: -1.2432 / 114'35"W
OS Eastings: 453560.35241
OS Northings: 87436.015279
OS Grid: SZ535874
Map code National: GBR 9D3.4HH
Map code Global: FRA 8788.KGV
Entry Name: Bowl barrow known as Michael Morey's Hump,
and a Highway Commission barrier on Gallows Hill
Scheduled Date: 6 September 1954
Last Amended: 28 February 1995
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1010008
English Heritage Legacy ID: 22025
County: Isle of Wight
Civil Parish: Arreton
Traditional County:Hampshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight
Church of England Parish: Arreton St George
Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a bowl barrow and the end of a Highway Commission barrier abutting the barrow. The monument lies halfway down a west facing spur in an area of chalk down land with views to the south and west. The barrow was originally one of a group of three but is now the only one to survive on this part of Gallows Hill.

The barrow has a mound which measures 24m east-west and 19m north-south, the truncation due to the construction of a road on its north east side. The mound is 1.5m high when viewed from the south, and 3m high when viewed from the north. Surrounding the mound, on all but the north east side where it has been removed, is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.5m wide. Additional to this there is a 2m margin around the monument on all but the north east side to ensure its protection.

The Highway Commission barrier which abuts the barrow was built in 1815 to serve as a roadblock. The barrier can no longer be seen at ground level beyond the barrow mound, but can be seen as a small mound, c.0.5m high and c.4m wide, at the base of the barrow on its south west side.

The barrow was opened in 1815 by Thomas Cooke who found seven extended skeletons, including those of two children. Near each skeleton was an iron knife blade. Two circular brass buckles, a bone comb and spearhead was also found. The stone socket of the gibbet erected for Michael Morey was found at the centre of the barrow. Excavation of the area to the south west of the barrow by the Isle of Wight Archaeological Unit in 1990 showed that the barrow ditch was c.0.5m deep and showed the Highway barrier as a chalk bank abutting the barrow.

The post and wire fence which edges the road, and the telegraph pole and its supports which lie on the verge of the road, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

The bowl barrow called Michael Morey's Hump on Gallows Hill survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument. The construction of a Highway Commission barrier abutting the barrow is an interesting example of subsequent use.

Source: Historic England
Books and journals

Phillips, K S, For Rooks and Ravens. The Execution of Michael Morey of Arreton, (1981), 22 Grinsell, , Sherwin, , 'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Procedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc, , Vol. 3, (1940), 188,207 Kell, E, 'Journal of the British Archaeological Association' in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, , Vol. 5, (1850), 365-7


14th July 1979 2303/3/416, (1979) Source: Historic England