Round barrow cemetery 950m west of Vale Hollow 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 reduction in the heights of some of the mounds through cultivation the round barrow cemetery 950m west of Vale Hollow Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, the relative chronologies of individual barrows, the territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices, the longevity of the cemetery and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 July 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 12 areas, includes a round barrow cemetery situated along a prominent ridge in the Mendip Hills. The round barrows are loosely arranged as two roughly parallel linear groups of four barrows each with the four remaining barrows in a more sporadic distribution to the south east. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by largely buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. With the exception of one example which is a possible bell barrow, these are bowl barrows. The mounds vary in size from 6m up to 28m in diameter and from 0.3m up to 2m high. The possible bell barrow is 26m in diameter, up to 1m high and with a 1m wide berm. Several barrows have visible ditches of up to 5m wide. One is crossed by a field boundary.