Pair of round barrows forming part of the Bronze Age round barrow cemetery 400m north-east of West Kennett Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 28-Nov-2020 at 23:23:55.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 11571 68863
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.
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
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, SMR SU 16 NW 699, (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