Three bowl barrows 410m north east of Thorn Down: three 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 46359 55581

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 barrows, three in the Thorn Down barrow cemetery, have withstood road widening, the construction of a railway embankment and close cultivation and remain good examples of their class. Despite partial excavation, they will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and use and an understanding of the cemetery as a whole.


The monument includes three bowl barrows in a cemetery of ten Bronze Age round barrows, seven of which are upstanding, situated along the floor of a dry valley between Thorn Down and Great Litchfield Down. The western barrow has been ploughed in the past but a low mound, 40m in diameter and 1m high, remains. Surrounding the barrow mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature 7m wide. The western side of the barrow mound and ditch have been damaged during widening of the A34 road. The eastern barrow ditch lies beneath the foot of a railway embankment. The eastern barrow mound is 33m in diameter and 3m high. The western edge of the barrow has been damaged by the construction of a railway embankment. The encircling quarry ditch has become infilled but survives as a buried feature 5m wide. Only the western half of the northern barrow mound remains visible, the eastern part having been incorporated into a railway embankment. The visible portion of the barrow mound is 28m north-south and 2m high. The encircling quarry ditch has become infilled but survives as a buried feature 5m wide. The northern and eastern barrows were partially excavated before the construction of the railway in the 19th century. At least one cremation burial was found in each barrow, together with evidence of earlier excavation. The western barrow was also excavated in the early 19th century, but the excavation records are such that it is not possible to assign individual burials to it. Excluded from the scheduling are the railway embankment, the remains of a brick-built structure on the embankment close to the northern barrow, and associated fencing, but the ground beneath all of these features 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
Money, W, 'Proc Soc Antiq' in Note: Seven Barrows, , Vol. 10(2), (1883), 18-19
Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,


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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