A pond barrow and a bowl barrow 200m south east of St Mary's Church forming outliers to a round barrow cemetery at Winterbourne Gunner


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010293

Date first listed: 01-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of A pond barrow and a bowl barrow 200m south east of St Mary's Church forming outliers to a round barrow cemetery at Winterbourne Gunner
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne

National Grid Reference: SU 18269 35222


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.

Pond barrows are ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and 1000 BC. The term "barrow" is something of a misnomer as, rather than a mound, they were constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim and occasionally, an outer ditch or entrance through the bank. Where excavation has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists occasionally containing human remains, have usually been discovered within the central depression. Pond barrows occur either singly or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries. The function and role of pond barrows is not fully understood but their close association with other types of barrow and the limited but repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated examples supports their identification as ceremonial monuments involved in funerary ritual. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow with about 60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset. They are representative of their period and, as few examples have been excavated, they have a particularly high value for future study with the potential to provide important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst prehistoric communities. Due to their rarity, all identified pond barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance. 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, sometimes 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 diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite the reduced height of the bank of the pond barrow and the mound of the bowl barrow, the two barrows form an important and integral part of the nearby round barrow cemetery, and are known from partial excavation to contain 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 the remains of a pond barrow and a bowl barrow located 200m south east of St Mary's Church in Winterbourne Gunner. The barrows are two of at least six which form outliers to a round barrow cemetery located 400m to the north east. The core of the cemetery contains seven bowl barrows. The central depression of the pond barrow is c.0.6m deep and 12m in diameter and was originally surrounded by a bank constructed from the excavation of the central depression. The bank has become levelled over the years but its extent is indicated by the discovery during partial excavation of a secondary, crouched burial on its south western side and of two secondary cremations contained within urns on its north eastern side. The width of the outer bank is therefore c.3m giving an overall diameter for the pond barrow of 18m. Partial excavation also revealed the presence of a cremation pit in the central depression. Pits are located in the area of the bank and immediately south east of the pond barrow. Five have been identified during fieldwork. Of these, two are physically associated and, therefore, form part of the scheduling. The other three pits are not physically associated and are not included in the scheduling. The remains of a bowl barrow lie 3m ENE of the pond barrow. The barrow mound has been largely levelled, but partial excavation has shown that it was surrounded by a ditch up to 1m wide, from which material was quarried during its construction. This ditch has become largely infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature, giving the barrow an overall diameter of 22m. An Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery is located to the south east and the south west of the monument. A wooden shed partially located on the south western side of the bowl barrow is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 26264

Legacy System: RSM


Ref 1,

End of official listing