Pond barrow and bowl barrow 230m south-east of Walnut Tree Cottage.
Reasons for Designation
Pond barrows are ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and 1000 BC. The term "barrow" is something of a misnomer as, rather than a mound, they were constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim and, occasionally, an outer ditch or an entrance through the bank. Where excavation has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists, occasionally containing human remains, have usually been discovered within the central depression, whilst at one example a well-like shaft was revealed. Pond barrows occur either singly or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of barrows). The function and role of pond barrows is not fully understood but their close association with other types of barrow and the limited but repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated examples supports their identification as ceremonial monuments involved in funerary ritual. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow, with about 60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset. They are representative of their period and, as few examples have been excavated, they have a particularly high value for future study with the potential to provide important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst prehistoric communities. Due to their rarity, all identified pond barrows are important. 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. 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. Despite partial early excavation or robbing the pond barrow and bowl barrow 230m south east of Walnut Tree Cottage survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 June 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes a juxtaposed pond barrow and bowl barrow situated on the rolling uplands of Stapleford Down overlooking a dry valley which leads towards the River Avon. The northern pond barrow survives as a circular depression of up to 18m in diameter and 2m deep surrounded by an outer bank of 0.7m high which is best preserved to the north. To the south is a bowl barrow which survives as a circular mound of 17m in diameter and 2m high surrounded by a buried quarry ditch from which the construction material was derived. There is a central depression in the summit of the mound.