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Seven bowl barrows and a pond barrow forming a round barrow cemetery 200m north of The Diamond on Wilsford Down

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Seven bowl barrows and a pond barrow forming a round barrow cemetery 200m north of The Diamond on Wilsford Down

List entry Number: 1010834

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Jun-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Mar-1995

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10480

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many grouped into cemeteries. The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use. In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified as nationally important. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (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 and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has occurred, contemporary or later 'flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both here and at Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities.



Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a variety of burial practices. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally and at least 320 in the Stonehenge area.

Pond barrows are ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, with 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. They occur either in isolation or within round barrow cemeteries. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow with about 60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset, many of which are in the Stonehenge area. As few examples have been excavated, they have a particlularly high value for future study. Due to their rarity, all identified pond barrows will normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite most having been levelled by cultivation, the seven bowl barrows and pond barrow forming a round barrow cemetery 200m north of The Diamond on Wilsford Down are known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Aerial photographs have shown that the ditch fills survive undisturbed, while deposits located on the Bronze Age ground surface will survive beneath the area disturbed by cultivation.

History

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

Details

The monument includes seven levelled bowl barrows and a pond barrow forming a round barrow cemetery 200m north of The Diamond on Wilsford Down. The location is on the edge of a plateau overlooking Normanton Down to the east. The bowl barrows are now difficult to identify on the ground, with only one being visible as a slight earthwork, but all are visible on aerial photographs. All were surrounded by ditches, from which material was quarried during their construction, and have overall diameters ranging from 8m to 25m. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed that most contained simple cremations, and two contained urn fragments. The pond barrow is the most southerly barrow and is visible as a slight depression c.12m in diameter. Aerial photographs indicate that it was surrounded by a bank c.3m wide giving an overall diameter of c.18m.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 197
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 197
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 206

National Grid Reference: SU 10537 41144

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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End of official listing