Three bell barrows 300m north-east of New Barn, Earl's Farm Down
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Oct-2019 at 23:23:20.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 17559 42345
Reasons for Designation
Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are
funerary monuments dating to the early and middle Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 1600-1300 BC. They occur either in
isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single
or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by
an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons,
personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic
individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows)
are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which
are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides
evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric
communities over most of southern and eastern England, as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows
would normally be considered to be of national importance.
The Earl's Farm Down bell barrows survive particularly well and, as there is no evidence of formal excavation on the site, have considerable archaeological potential. The importance of the site is further enhanced by its incorporation within a barrow cemetery. Such cemeteries provide valuable information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst Bronze Age communities. Individual barrows within such cemeteries are central to their interpretation and therefore of considerable importance.
The monument includes three bell barrows, aligned north-south, and set
on a gentle south-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland.
The northern barrow mound is 37m in diameter and 2m high. The central
mound is 10m south of the northern mound. It is 38m in diameter and 2m
high. To the south of, and contiguous to, the central mound is a third
barrow 27m across and 1m high. The two contiguous barrow mounds measure
c.45m from north to south. All three barrow mounds have been reduced by
cultivation and the berms and outer banks are no longer visible at
ground level. Air photographs suggest that all three mounds are
surrounded by a single ditch. This is visible at ground level as a dark
soil mark, c.5m wide.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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