Two bowl barrows 800m north east of The Avenue on Countess Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1009135
Date first listed: 12-Apr-1995
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 21:41:11.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 14450 42772
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. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round
barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the
Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC.
They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which
covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped
as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often
superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit
regional variations in form and a variety of burial practices. There are over
10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally and at least 320 in the
Stonehenge area. This group of monuments will provide important information
on the development of this area during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age
Despite the reduced height of the two bowl barrows 800m north east of the Avenue, they will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned north to south some 800m north
east of the Avenue on a raised plateau which lies between the River Avon and
Stonehenge. The mound of the northern barrow survives as a slight earthwork
0.4m high and c.28m in diameter. The southern barrow is now difficult to
define on the ground but is visible on aerial photographs from which the mound
is calculated to be c.36m in diameter. Both mounds are surrounded by ditches
from which material was quarried during their construction. These have become
infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3.5m wide in the case
of the northern barrow, giving an overall diameter of c.35m, and c.4.5m in the
case of the southern barrow, giving an overall diameter of c.45m.
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: 10411
Legacy System: RSM
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing