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Round barrow cemetery and part of a field system 200m south of Beckhampton Penning

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Round barrow cemetery and part of a field system 200m south of Beckhampton Penning

List entry Number: 1008227

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Allcannings

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Avebury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Mar-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 21755

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The Bronze Age round barrow cemetery 200m south of Beckhampton Penning includes an unusual combination of rare disc, pond and saucer barrows. Although the barrows have been reduced by cultivation and many have been partially excavated, they will retain archaeological and environmental remains relating to their construction and the landscape in which they were built. The area of field system included in the scheduling preserves evidence of the way in which the barrows were incorporated into the later prehistoric land management system.

History

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

Details

The monument includes ten Bronze Age round barrows and part of a field system 200m south of Beckhampton Penning. Together, the barrows form a nucleated round barrow cemetery on a north-facing false crest on Allington Down. The individual barrows can be described as follows: (SU09456715) Disc barrow. Although levelled by cultivation, this will survive as a buried feature with an overall diameter of 40m including the levelled central mound, the level berm and its surrounding 3m wide quarry ditch. The barrow was partially excavated by Thurnham in the 19th century. This is probably the barrow in which he found a primary cremation with an `Aldbourne Cup' and bronze awl. The barrow was still visible above ground when visited by Grinsell in 1951. (SU09366718) Disc barrow reduced by cultivation but visible as an upstanding spread mound c.30m in diameter and up to 0.3m high. This represents the spread remains of the central mound which originally sat in the centre of a 30m diameter level berm. Surrounding the mound and berm, and just visible at ground level, is an infilled quarry ditch from which material was obtained during the construction of the monument. This survives as a buried feature 2.5m wide but is visible in places as a depression 0.2m deep. The barrow was partially excavated by Thurnham in the 19th century. (SU09416717) Disc barrow levelled by cultivation but which survives as a buried feature with an overall diameter of 35m. The central mound, which originally had a diameter of c.8m, has been spread across the level berm which has a diameter of 30m and is surrounded by an infilled quarry ditch 2.5m deep. This was visible as recently as 1973 when the spread mound measured 0.3m high and the ditch, although partially infilled, was 0.2m deep. At this date there was also an outer bank clearly visible on the west side of the barrow with a diameter of c.1.5m. The barrow was partially excavated by Thurnham in the 19th century and is probably the barrow in which he found a primary cremation accompanied by an `Aldbourne Cup'. (SU09346722) Pond barrow. Although levelled by cultivation and no longer visible at ground level, this barrow survives as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs. The barrow has the levelled remains of a 3m wide bank recorded as being 0.3m high in 1973, surrounding an inner depression or `pond' with a diameter of 22m. The pond was 0.2m deep in 1973. The barrow was partially excavated by Thurnham in the 19th century. (SU09376722) Saucer barrow, levelled by cultivation and no longer visible at ground level, but which survives as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs with an overall diameter of 28m. It was partially excavated by Thurnham. (SU09476711) Round barrow levelled by cultivation but which survives below ground with an overall diameter of 28m. It is visible as a soil mark, known as a ring ditch, on aerial photographs. The northern portion is obscured by the east-west fence line marking the parish boundary. (SU09346710) Disc barrow levelled by cultivation but which survives as a buried feature with an overall diameter of 26m, including a 2m wide ditch. The mound has been spread across the berm and ditch so that no surface evidence is now visible. However, the mound was recorded as being 0.3m high in 1951 when visited by Grinsell. The barrow was partially excavated by Thurnham in the 19th century. (SU09296715) Ring ditch representing the site of a levelled round barrow. This is no longer visible at ground level, except as a soil mark immediately after ploughing, but survives as a buried feature c.22m wide. (SU09346715) Ring ditch, no longer visible at ground level but which survives as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs. It has an overall diameter of c.20m. (SU09376713) Ring ditch, no longer visible at ground level but which is visible on aerial photographs and has an overall diameter of c.23m. The field system covers a total area of 230 acres on Allington Down and takes the form of many small rectangular fields, which have produced quantities of Iron Age and Romano-British pottery sherds. The field boundaries have been reduced by cultivation over the years and most of the area survives as buried ditches and levelled banks, visible on aerial photographs. The part of the field system included in this monument contains a number of linear and curved elements which respect the outer edge of the round barrow cemetery to the north and east, and which utilise the land between the barrows within it. Excluded from the scheduling is the boundary fence running east-west through the cemetery, although the ground beneath is included.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, , Vol. 1 pt 1, (1957)
Other
CAO, Field system, (1989)
OS 73/071/232 3, Ordnance Survey, (1973)
SMR AP plot on 1:10,000 O.S. Base, CAO, Avebury World Heritage Area, (1991)
St Joseph, J K,
SU 06 NE 66 B, RCHM(E), Avebury 66, (1973)
SU 06 NE 66 C, RCHM(E), Avebury 67, (1973)
SU 06 NE 66 D, RCHM(E), Avebury 65, (1973)
SU 06 NE 68, RCHM(E), A field system, (1973)
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
SU06NE630, CAO, Ploughed out disc barrow, (1989)
SU06NE631, CAO, Ploughed disc barrow, (1989)
SU06NE633, CAO, Ploughed out pond barrow, (1989)
SU06NE634, CAO, Saucer barrow, (1989)
SU06NE638, CAO, (1989)
Title: Sheet SU 06 NE Source Date: 1961 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 6" Edition

National Grid Reference: SU 09389 67156

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008227 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 08:51:14.

End of official listing