Bowl barrow forming part of a Bronze Age cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm on Overton Hill

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1008100
Date first listed:
10-Mar-1925
Date of most recent amendment:
25-Jan-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow forming part of a Bronze Age cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm on Overton Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

District:
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Avebury
National Grid Reference:
SU 11665 68802

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.

This bowl barrow, forming part of the Bronze Age round barrow cemetery on Overton Hill, is a well preserved example of its class, occurring within a nationally important barrow cemetery which contains a number of well preserved and rare examples of barrow types. All the barrows will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to both the cemetery and the Avebury landscape in which it was built.

Details

The monument includes a bowl barrow, one of a group of ten Bronze Age round barrows which form a cemetery to the west of the Ridgeway on Overton Hill. The barrows are all located on a west facing slope, south of the Avebury Henge monument, and overlook the River Kennet. The bowl barrow has a central mound which measures 19m in diameter and stands up to 1.5m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch which provided the material used in the monument's construction. This ditch survives as a buried feature on all but the north-east side where it is visible as an earthwork 5m wide and 0.4m deep. The barrow was partially excavated by Colt Hoare, who found a cremation burial accompanied by an incense cup, both contained within an oblong cist.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
21724
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
SU 17 SW 36 C, RCHM(E), Bell barrow, (1978)
SU06NE640, CAO, Bell barrow, (1989)

Legal

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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