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:
Date first listed:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007489.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 26-Jan-2021 at 07:26:55.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

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:
Legacy System:


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].