Two bowl barrows and a ring ditch 250m north east of Thorn Down: part of the group known as Seven Barrows


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 46249 55454

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 and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two bowl barrows in the Thorn Down barrow cemetery are well preserved and are good examples of their class. Despite partial excavation, the barrows and ring ditch will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and an understanding of the cemetery of which they are a part.


The monument includes two bowl barrows and a ring ditch, representing a ploughed-down barrow, in a linear cemetery of ten Bronze Age round barrows situated along the floor of a dry valley between Thorn Down and Great Litchfield Down. Seven of the barrows remain as upstanding monuments. The larger, southern barrow mound is 34m in diameter and 3m high. At the northern side of the mound is a 14m long depression which marks part of the ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The rest of the ditch has become completely infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature 5m wide. The northern barrow mound is 26m in diameter and 2m high. The quarry ditch around this barrow has also become infilled but survives as a buried feature 4m wide. The eastern edges of both barrows and the associated eastern ditch sections have been damaged by the widening of the A34 road. The ring ditch, known from aerial photographs, is visible as soil marks 44m in overall diameter which represent a probable disc barrow. The upstanding barrow mound and encircling bank, which were built with material quarried from the ditch, have been ploughed down, although the Bronze Age ground surface and any features cut into it, such as burial pits, will survive beneath the level of modern disturbance. Similarly, the ditch has become infilled over the years, but this too will survive as a buried feature. Irregularities in the surface of the southern barrow mound are evidence of partial excavation of the barrow carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. No obvious signs of disturbance are visible on the northern barrow, although it, and the barrow represented by the ring ditch, were also partially excavated in the 19th century. Both cremation and inhumation burials were found, but the excavation records are such that it is not possible to assign individual burials to any particular barrow. Excluded from the scheduling are the roadside fence and fence posts, but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14(3), (1940), 347
Money, W, 'Proc Soc Antiq' in Note: Seven Barrows, , Vol. 10(2), (1883), 18-19
Woolley, L, 'Man' in Excavations on Beacon Hill, Hampshire, , Vol. 13, (1913), 9-10
Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,
Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,
SU 45NE 52J, (1983)


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

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