Group of barrows on Draycott Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005697
Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:39:38.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 13971 63942
Round barrow cemetery 620m north-west of Manor Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite partial early excavation the round barrow cemetery 620m north west of Manor Farm survives comparatively well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the individual barrows and 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 18 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 round barrow cemetery situated on the summit of a prominent southern spur of the steeply sloping ridge called Draycott Hill overlooking the Vale of Pewsey. Also known locally as the ‘Gopher Wood Barrow Group’ the barrow cemetery survives as nine circular mounds surrounded by partially but often visible buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. There are eight bowl barrows in the group including: three single barrows; one pair of conjoined barrows and one group of three conjoined barrows which measure from 7m up to 17m in diameter and from 0.4m up to 2.4m high with ditches of up to 0.6m deep. The three conjoined mounds appear almost as a single oval mound but excavations in 1863 by Thurnam established there were three individual barrows two of which contained cremated bone in a pit. Two of the bowl barrows were excavated by Cunnington in the 19th century one contained an urn and a perforated bone pin and the other a cist and a single bone pin although it is not clear which of the barrows were examined. Cunnington also excavated the disc barrow in 1800. This survives as a circular off centre mound of up to 9m in diameter and 1.1m high surrounded by a 3m wide berm with a ditch and an outer bank which have an overall diameter of 28m. The excavation produced two secondary cremations, very large flints, sherds of an urn, a bronze awl and a bone pin.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WI 35
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 221124, 1347198, 1347292, 1347305, 1347309 and 1347311
Wiltshire HER SU16SW604, SU16SW605, SU16SW606, SU16SW607, SU16SW608 and SU16SW609
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