King Barrow: a long barrow 100m north of Bishopstrow House
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2019 at 16:36:18.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 89759 44457
Reasons for Designation
Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.
The 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. The long barrow at Bishopstrow House survives well as an outstanding example of its class despite partial excavation on two separate occasions. The site therefore has potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains as well as environmental evidence relating to the surrounding landscape at the time the monument was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by the survival of numerous Bronze Age burial monuments in the immediate area. Combined, these give an indication of how settlement of the area continued between the 5th and 2nd millennia BC.
The monument includes a long barrow set on a local promontory in the valley of
the River Wylye. The barrow mound is 70m long, 22m wide and c.3m high. It is
orientated NNW-SSE and is ovoid in plan. Although no longer visible at ground
level ditches, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument, flank the mound to the east and west. These have become infilled
over the years but survive as buried features c.5m wide. The site has been
partially excavated on two occasions, by Colt-Hoare and Cunnington. Finds
have included a cremation burial and numerous later burials. Part of the
mound was removed in the 19th century leaving a scar at the northern end of
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 49, (1958)
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