Bowl barrow 50m south of The Sanctuary on Overton Hill, forming part of the Seven Barrow Hill round barrow cemetery
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007489
Date first listed: 07-Jul-1994
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Mar-2019 at 19:01:22.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 11836 67931
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 and ritual
monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age
(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 and occasionally associated
with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All
examples are considered worthy of protection.
The bowl barrow 50m south of The Sanctuary on Overton Hill forms part of the nationally important Seven Barrow Hill round barrow cemetery. Despite having been reduced by cultivation, it survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The close proximity of this barrow to The Sanctuary suggests that it may have a role to play in the understanding of one of the Avebury area's more enigmatic monuments.
The monument includes a large bowl barrow situated 50m south of The Sanctuary
on Overton Hill. The barrow is at the southern end of the Seven Barrow Hill
Bronze Age round barrow cemetery.
The mound originally measured 40m in diameter and stood up to 1m high.
However, owing to plough clipping and reduction over the years, it is now
visible as an earthwork 31.4m across and 1m high at its centre. There is no
evidence of a ditch surrounding this barrow suggesting that it may be one of a
number of examples close to the Ridgeway on Overton Hill which were
constructed with chalk and soil obtained from beyond the immediate environs of
the mound, thereby not requiring the excavation of a surrounding quarry ditch.
The cemetery obtained its name Seofen beorgas (Seven barrows) during the
Anglo-Saxon period when it was identified as such on a land charter. This part
of Overton Hill is still known locally as Seven Barrow Hill.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 21762
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 153-211
SU 16 NW 15 H, RCHM(E), Avebury 23, (1974)
SU16NW610, CAO, Barrow or Windmill mound, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Map Source Date: 1961 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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