Risbury Hill round barrows
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005592
Date first listed: 24-Apr-1956
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Park: NEW FOREST
National Grid Reference: SU 24791 18232, SU 24870 18504
Bell barrow and bowl barrow 1025m west of Lyburn Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows are important. Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, 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 tree growth and some later interference the bell barrow and bowl barrow 1025m west of Lyburn Farm 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 17 September 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.
This monument, which falls into two areas, includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow situated on the summit and upper north east ridge of the prominent Risbury Hill on Hamptworth Common overlooking three tributaries to the River Blackwater. The bell barrow to the south west survives as a circular mound of 23m in diameter and 2m high, with a 5m wide and 0.8m high berm surrounded by a 3m wide and 0.8m deep quarry ditch. The surface has been cut by practice trenches made during the Second World War. To the north east is a bowl barrow which survives as a circular mound of up to 18m in diameter and 0.6m high surrounded by a buried quarry ditch from which the construction material was derived.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WI 429
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 222660 and 222657, Wiltshire HER SU21NW608 and SU21 NW607
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing