Three bowl barrows 410m north east of Thorn Down: three of the group known as Seven Barrows
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008035
Date first listed: 25-Nov-1925
Date of most recent amendment: 14-Apr-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: 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
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
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.
Legacy System number: 24316
Legacy System: RSM
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