Bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger: part of Waltham Down round barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008762

Date first listed: 26-May-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Nov-1992


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger:  part of Waltham Down round barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Upwaltham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 93025 14366


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Bell barrows, an example of which occurs within the Waltham Down cemetery, are a particularly rare form of round barrow, the majority of the 250 known examples occurring in Wessex. The burials within bell barrows are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early Prehistoric communities over most of southern England. The survival of bell and bowl barrows within a single cemetery, combined with the wider distribution of barrows within the area, gives a valuable insight into the nature and scale of human occupation in the region during the Bronze Age. Despite partial excavation, the bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on the crest of a ridge of chalk downland. It comprises a mound 30m in diameter and 2.7m high with a large central hollow, indicating that the barrow was once partially excavated. Around the mound is a gently sloping platform, or berm, only traces of which remain visible, the majority of it having been buried by spoil from the central excavation. Enclosing this is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument; it now survives as a slight earthwork 4m wide and 0.5m deep. Beyond the ditch are the remains of a very spread outer bank c.4m wide and 0.1m high.

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: 20092

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934)
Ordnance Survey, SU 91 SW 2A, (1970)

End of official listing