Three bowl barrows in Colerne Park, 450m north of Keeper's Cottage


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows in Colerne Park, 450m north of Keeper's Cottage
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 83532 73228

Reasons for Designation

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. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite partial excavation of the largest of the barrow mounds in 1953, the Colerne Park group of barrows survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating to the landscape in which the barrows were constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by its survival as a group of barrow mounds in an area where few similar monuments are known. It could therefore provide a valuable insight into the social organisation and economy within an area sparsely populated during the Bronze Age period.


The monument includes three closely grouped bowl barrows set below the crest of a west-facing slope above the valley of By Brook, a tributary of the River Avon. The northern mound is 25m across and 3m high with a level top 8m across. A ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has been partly infilled over the years but survives as a slight earthwork 3m wide and 0.3m deep. The barrow mound was partially excavated by Shaw Mellor in 1953. Immediately to the south-west of the larger barrow mound are two smaller mounds. Both have dimensions of 12m in diameter and are 1m high. Although no longer visible at ground level ditches surround each of the mounds, surviving as buried features c.2m wide.

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.

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Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 55, , Vol. 55, (), 333-40


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

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