Nine bowl barrows, two disc barrows and two saucer barrows forming the majority of a round barrow cemetery on Durrington Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008943

Date first listed: 17-Mar-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Apr-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Nine bowl barrows, two disc barrows and two saucer barrows forming the majority of a round barrow cemetery on Durrington Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Durrington

National Grid Reference: SU 11825 44095

Summary

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 Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many grouped into cemeteries. The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use. In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified as nationally important. 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 Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, 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.

Despite partial excavation of all of the barrows within the monument, this part of the Durrington Down round barrow cemetery survives well. It also contains examples of rare types of barrow including disc barrows of which there are only 250 examples recorded nationally, and saucer barrows of which only 60 examples are known.

History

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

Details

The monument includes 13 of the 14 round barrows which make up the Durrington Down round barrow cemetery. Together they occupy an east-west ridge from which Stonehenge and The Cursus are visible. The 13 barrows contained within this monument are tightly clustered and include nine bowl barrows, two disc barrows and two saucer barrows. An outlying bowl barrow, the subject of a separate scheduling, is situated further east. The nine bowl barrows in this monument each have a mound and a surrounding ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. In most cases these have become infilled over the years, but some remain visible as earthworks. Sizes of the bowl barrows range from 10m to 30m overall diameter. The saucer and disc barrow mounds each have an encircling ditch and outer bank, while the disc barrow mounds are each separated from their ditches by a level berm or platform. Both saucer barrows have an overall diameter of 38m and the disc barrows measure 30m and 36m overall diameter. All the barrows within this monument were partially excavated in the 19th century revealing, in some cases, a previous opening. A variety of cremations and skeletons, including that of a child, were found together with an assortment of associated finds.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 10235

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Cunnington, B H, Woodhenge, (1929)
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 223
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 223
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 217
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 217
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 170
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167

End of official listing