Pair of round barrows forming part of the Bronze Age round barrow cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008101

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jan-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Pair of round barrows forming part of the Bronze Age round barrow cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 11571 68863

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

One of this pair of Bronze Age round barrows is a rare disc barrow. Together with the ring-ditch, these form part of a nationally important round barrow cemetery. Despite levelling by cultivation and partial excavation of the disc barrow, both barrows survive as buried features and will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to both the cemetery and the Avebury landscape in which it developed.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes two round barrows, aligned NW-SE, which form part of a Bronze Age round barrow cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm on Overton Hill. The northern of the two is a disc barrow which has been levelled by cultivation over the years but which has surviving remains buried below ground level and is visible on aerial photographs. The barrow mound measures 7.3m in diameter and is surrounded by a berm or platform 8.2m wide and an outer ditch 4m wide and 0.3m deep from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. A bank, now levelled by cultivation, runs outside the ditch and measures 5.4m across. The barrow was partially excavated between 1853 and 1857 by Thurnham and was visible as an upstanding monument as recently as the first half of this century. The southern barrow has been levelled by cultivation but survives as a ring- ditch, 24m across and visible on aerial photographs.

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: 21725

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, SMR SU 16 NW 699, (1983)

End of official listing