Upton Great Barrow: a bell barrow in East Barrow Belt


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010407

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Upton Great Barrow: a bell barrow in East Barrow Belt
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Upton Lovell

National Grid Reference: ST 95551 42317


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

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 1500-1100 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.

Despite some disturbance to the surface of the mound caused by the construction of water tanks and associated piping, much of the Upton Great Barrow monument survives well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains as well as environmental evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed. The significance of the site is enhanced both by the fact that it represents an outstanding example of its class and because numerous other round barrows survive in the area as well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence provides a clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow set on high ground above the Wylye Valley. The barrow mound is 34m in diameter and 2.5m high, surrounded on all sides by a level berm, ditch and outer bank. The berm measures 3m across and is set 0.75m above the bottom of the ditch. The ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, varies in width between 4m to the west and 6m to the east. Although partly infilled over the years it survives to a depth of 0.3m. Beyond the ditch are the slight traces of an outer bank.

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: 12304

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing