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.
Despite partial excavation and reduction by cultivation, the bowl barrow 300m
south of Fox Covert forms part of a nationally important round barrow cemetery
and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its
construction and the landscape in which it was built.
The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow 300m south of Fox Covert which
forms part of the Fox Covert round barrow cemetery on West Down. The barrow is
situated immediately north of the road from Beckhampton to Devizes, downslope
of the rest of the cemetery.
The barrow survives as a low earthen mound which has been spread by
cultivation to a diameter of 20m and which stands up to 0.5m high. This area
includes what was originally a c.16m diameter barrow mound which has spread
across the surrounding quarry ditch from which material was taken during the
mound's construction. The ditch survives beneath the spread mound as a buried
feature c.2m wide.
This barrow was partially excavated in the 1840's by Merewether who found a
secondary cremation burial contained within a richly ornamented urn.
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.