Reasons for Designation
A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial monuments in the
country. 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, normally 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 and around 320 in the Avebury area. This group of
monuments will provide important information on the development of this area
during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. All surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.
Despite having been partly disturbed by quarrying, the two bowl barrows 670m
south east of Beckhampton Buildings, form part of a wider group which includes
a rare bell barrow. Both will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to their construction and the landscape in which they were
The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned east-west which form part of a
group of four Bronze Age round barrows on Horton Down.
The eastern barrow has a mound which measures 21m in diameter and stands up to
0.8m high. Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was
obtained during its construction. This has been partly infilled over the
years and has been destroyed by quarrying on the north eastern side of the
barrow. However, it survives on the other three sides as a shallow feature 3m
wide and 0.4m deep.
The western barrow has a mound which measures 10m in diameter and stands up to
0.6m high. This barrow has suffered slight mutilation from quarrying. There is
no sign of the surrounding quarry ditch at ground level but it is believed to
have been approximately 2m wide and to have become infilled over the years.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.