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Ten barrows forming part of Fox Covert round barrow cemetery, West Down.

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: Ten barrows forming part of Fox Covert round barrow cemetery, West Down.

List entry Number: 1008293

Location

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

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: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Mar-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 21752

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 ten barrows forming part of Fox Covert round barrow cemetery represent the majority of this nationally important Bronze Age round barrow cemetery. Although several of the barrows have been reduced by cultivation and others have been partially excavated, they will contain archaeological and environmental evidence of their construction and the landscape in which they were built.

History

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

Details

The monument includes ten Bronze Age round barrows aligned SW-NE, forming the core of a round barrow cemetery situated on the south-facing slope of West Down. The individual barrows, from north-east to south-west, can be described as follows: (SU07576875) A well preserved bowl barrow, the mound of which measures 19m in diameter and stands up to 1.8m high. Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during the construction of the barrow. This survives as a partially infilled depression 5m wide and c.0.3m deep. The barrow was partially excavated by Hoare who found a primary cremation burial in an oval cist. Sherds of 'Beaker' style pottery have also been found on this barrow. (SU07566873) A bowl barrow which has suffered some disturbance due to excavation in the past but which survives with a mound 12m in diameter and 0.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a partially infilled quarry ditch c.2.5m wide and 0.3m deep. The barrow was partially excavated by Colt Hoare during the last century, although he is not thought to have disturbed the primary burial. (SU07536871) A well preserved bowl barrow, the mound of which measures 16m in diameter and stands up to 1.2m high. Surrounding the mound is a partially infilled quarry ditch c.6.5m wide and up to 0.3m deep, the northern side of which falls beneath a rough track which runs between the barrow and those to the north-east. (SU07496869) A bowl barrow, the mound of which measures 15m in diameter and stands up to 1.2m high. Surrounding the mound, but no longer visible at ground level, is a quarry ditch which survives as buried feature c.2.5m wide. (SU07486868) A bowl barrow, the mound of which has been reduced by cultivation but which survives as a slight earthwork c.10m in diameter and 0.3m high. Surrounding the mound, but no longer visible at ground level, is a quarry ditch. This is visible as a 3m wide soil mark on aerial photographs. The barrow was partially excavated by Colt Hoare in 1812 when it was found to contain a small deposit of burnt bones within an earthen mound. (SU07476867) A levelled bowl barrow, visible on aerial photographs, the quarry ditch of which survives below ground defining an overall area 13m across. According to Colt Hoare, writing in 1821, this barrrow had previously been opened and robbed. (SU07456865) A levelled bowl barrow, with an overall diameter of 19m. It survives as a buried and spread mound, visible on aerial photographs. When excavated by Colt Hoare the barrow was found to contain a primary cremation accompanied by two rings and a small perforated jet ornament. (SU07436863) A levelled bowl barrow with an overall diameter of 12m. It survives as a buried ditch and spread mound, visible on aerial photographs. Colt Hoare records that this barrow had been previously opened but he did find a primary cremation burial below an inverted urn. (SU07416860) A levelled bowl barrow with an overall diameter of 17m. It survives as a buried ditch and spread mound, visible on aerial photographs. Colt Hoare partially excavated this barrow and found a primary cremation, beneath a decorated urn. (SU07396859) A levelled barrow with an overall diameter of 18m. It survives as a buried ditch and spread mound, visible on aerial photographs. When investigated by Colt Hoare it had already been opened by Cunnington in 1804. The rough track running through the north-eastern end of the barrow group is included in the scheduling.

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
Colt Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire: Volume II, (1821), 91-2
Colt Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire: Volume II, (1821)
Colt Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire: Volume II, (1821), 91-2
Other
(SU06NE657), CAO, Bowl barrow (SU06NE657), (1989)
CAO, Bowl barrow SU06 NE658, 1989, SU06 NE658
CAO, Bowl Barrow, (1989)
SU 06 NE 29 C, RCHM(E), Part Of Fox Covert Group, (1973)
SU 06 NE 47, RCHME, SU06 NE47, (1973)
SU 06 NE 58, RCHME, (1973)
SU06NE659, CAO, Bowl Barrow - Ditched, (1989)
SU06NE663, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Map Source Date: 1961 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Sheet SU 06 NE 1:10000 Source Date: 1981 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NGR 0768
Title: Sheet SU 06 NE Source Date: 1961 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 6" Edition
WI 99 AMW report form, FMW, Fox Covert Group Of Barrows, (1979)

National Grid Reference: SU 07478 68684

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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End of official listing