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Lake Barrow Group, North Kite earthwork enclosure, four sections of linear boundary, and a bowl barrow within the North Kite

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: Lake Barrow Group, North Kite earthwork enclosure, four sections of linear boundary, and a bowl barrow within the North Kite

List entry Number: 1010863

Location

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

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Berwick St. James

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: 30-Mar-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10300

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 the 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.

The North Kite enclosure is a monument of unusual form. An earthwork of similar shape and size, known as the South Kite enclosure, is located 2.5km to the south west on Stapleford Down, whilst a smaller example is known from the western margin of Salisbury Plain near Bratton Camp. The site of the North Kite enclosure, partly straddling an east-west coombe, has led to comparisons with the `valley entrenchments' of the South Downs, two of which have been dated to the Early Bronze Age as has the North Kite enclosure. From the evidence of aerial photography, excavation and geophysical survey, it is known to be enclosed by a complex set of earthworks. Geophysical survey has also confirmed that it contains buried internal features. In the later part of the Bronze Age it acted as the focal point for the construction of an extensive series of linear boundaries, and it apparently pre-dates the large round barrow cemetery which was constructed in the Early Bronze Age on its south west margin. It is therefore an unusual monument of particular interest in the evolution of the Bronze Age landscape. 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 medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including different types of round barrow and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows, as in this case. 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 in the case here and at Avebury. Often occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their diversity and 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 preservation. The round barrow cemetery to the south west of the North Kite enclosure includes a long barrow on its southern margin, one of at least nine survive in the Stonehenge area. Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds often 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 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. The Lake round barrow cemetery survives well and is an outstanding example of its type. This, together with the North Kite enclosure, the long barrow and the four sections of linear boundary, form an important survival of Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape. All these features are known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the North Kite earthwork enclosure, a levelled bowl barrow within the enclosure, a long barrow, 22 round barrows forming the Lake round barrow cemetery, and four sections of linear boundary. On present evidence it is suggested that the North Kite enclosure is earlier in date than the linear boundaries and at least some of the barrows within the cemetery. The North Kite enclosure is located on the north-facing slope of an east-west coombe, with its southern and broader end on a plateau that overlooks the coombe, having views northwards across the Normanton Down round barrow cemetery towards Stonehenge. The round barrow cemetery and sections of linear boundary are located on the plateau south and south west of the North Kite enclosure. The North Kite enclosure has been levelled in places by agricultural operations but its overall size and shape is known partly from the visible sections and partly as a result of recent mapping from aerial photographs. It is trapezoidal in shape, aligned north east-south west, with its long axis measuring c.650m. It is 150m wide at its north east end and c.400m wide at its south west end. The earthworks forming the west side of the enclosure consist of a bank, ranging from 4.5m to 8.5m wide and up to 1.7m high, and an outer ditch c.5m wide by 0.2m deep. The bank and ditch forming the east side and the north east end are now difficult to identify but are visible on aerial photographs and were similar in size to the western bank and ditch. An aerial photograph taken c.1922, prior to the levelling of parts of the enclosure, reveals narrow gaps in the east and west banks c.350m from the north east end. South of these gaps the banks continue at a narrower width, indicating that the enclosure was constructed in more than one phase, although there is no indication of an original southern side to the monument enclosing the area north of these gaps. The southern side of the full enclosure, some 300m further south from the gaps in the east and west sides, is now only detectable through slight indications on aerial photographs. A plan of ancient earthworks in the area, published in 1812, indicates that the southern side was visible at that time. The 1922 photograph also reveals a small outer ditch c.10m from the main ditch, running around the east, north east and west sides of the monument and continuing without interruption past the breaks in the bank. Upcast from this ditch is visible on the photograph as a slight outer bank. Partial excavations in 1958 and 1983 revealed that the main bank contains the remains of a turf stack, constructed as a revetment to prevent the dug chalk from subsiding into the ditch. There is also a deposit of weathered chalk and humic material added to the inner edge of the bank and interpreted as detritus from the cleaning out of the ditch. Pottery of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age date was recovered from the buried land surface beneath the bank, and a Beaker sherd in fresh condition was recovered from the surface of this buried soil. The excavations in 1958 also revealed that the small outer ditch is a palisade trench. Recent geophysical survey confirmed the presence of the palisade trench on the west side, and revealed many pit-like features in the interior of the enclosure, some 3m-4m in diameter. Field inspection of the round barrow cemetery to the south west indicates that the North Kite enclosure was built prior to the construction of one of the disc barrows which overlies its western side, and prior to the construction of an oval bowl barrow that partially overlaps another part of the same side. The Lake round barrow cemetery includes 22 round barrows in all, consisting of 15 bowl barrows, a twin bowl barrow, four bell barrows and two disc barrows; a Neolithic long barrow formed the original focus of the cemetery. The centre of the cemetery consists of a line of eight round barrows extending over a distance of 350m, with an outlier to the south. To the south west is a group of nine barrows clustered around the long barrow; the remaining four barrows lie to the north east of the centre. The long barrow is situated on the south west margin of the cemetery and is aligned north west-south east. The barrow mound is 46m long, 26m wide and 3.5m high, flanked by a quarry ditch along each side. The northern ditch is 5m wide and 0.5m deep; the southern ditch is 9m wide and 0.8m deep. The overall width is 40m. The twin bowl barrow is situated in Lake Wood and overlaps the west side of the North Kite enclosure. The barrow mounds now have the appearance of a single elongated mound aligned north west-south east, 30m long by 20m wide and c.1m high. It is surrounded by a ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep giving an overall length of 40m and an overall width of 30m. Partial excavation of the south east mound in the 19th century revealed a primary cremation in a cist with four glass beads, two amber beads and other objects. The four bell barrows are located in the alignment forming the central section of the cemetery. They range from 32m to 39m in overall diameter and have mounds between 2.5m and 4m high. The two disc barrows form the northern extremity of the cemetery and are aligned east-west. The mound of the western barrow is now difficult to identify, but that of the eastern barrow is 10m in diameter by 0.3m high. Both are surrounded by ditches and outer banks, each c.6m wide, the ditches 0.3m and 0.4m deep, and the banks 0.2m and 0.5m high. Overall diameters are 49m for the western barrow and 62m for the eastern barrow. The outer banks of the disc barrows are confluent. The eastern bank of the eastern disc barrow is visible as a slight earthwork on the bank of the North Kite enclosure. The bowl barrows have mounds that range from 3m to 38m in diameter and from 0.3m to 2.5m in height. Some of the barrows west of Lake Wood are now difficult to identify but their sizes are known as a result of partial excavation. All are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. The ditches around ten of the bowl barrows are now difficult to identify, having become infilled over the years; the rest range from 2m to 5m in width and 0.2m to 0.75m in depth. Overall diameters for the bowl barrows range from 4.5m to 46m. The levelled bowl barrow within the North Kite enclosure is now difficult to identify on the ground but is known from aerial photographs to have an overall diameter of c.22m. The monument also includes four sections of linear boundary surviving as earthworks, which together form part of a system of linear boundaries extending a distance of 4km from west of the Longbarrow Crossroads round barrow cemetery in the north west to Rox Hill in the south east. The most westerly section is located on the southern edge of the Lake round barrow cemetery. It is 290m long and consists of a ditch, 5m wide and 0.75m deep, flanked on its north east side by a bank 7m wide and 0.5m high and on its south west side by a bank 6m wide and 0.5m high, giving an overall width of 18m. The southern bank is now difficult to identify in the eastern half of the monument as a result of the cultivation. At its south east end it is abutted by another section of linear boundary, 220m long and aligned north east-south west. It consists of a bank c.4m wide by 0.25m high and a ditch visible as a slight earthwork c.10m wide, giving an overall width of 14m. It abuts the west side of the North Kite enclosure at its north east end. A third section of linear boundary abuts the North Kite enclosure at the same point. It is 180m long and aligned north west-south east, and consists of a bank c.6m wide and 0.4m high. The most northerly of the sections also abuts the western side of the North Kite enclosure, on the northern margin of the round barrow cemetery. It consists of a bank c.6m and 0.4m high flanked on its southern side by a ditch visible as a slight earthwork c.5m wide, giving an overall width of 11m. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included. The track which marks the southern margin of the round barrow cemetery, which turns north east to cross the cemetery and then south east, together with the north-south track which crosses the northern section of the cemetery and the north west-south east track crossing the most southerly section of the linear boundary, are included in the scheduling.

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), 146
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 211
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 220
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 211
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 146
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957)
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 211
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 220
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 259
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 198
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 211
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 211
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 212
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 209
Hoare, R C, Ancient Wiltshire, (1812), 212
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 210
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 210
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 209
Hoare, R C, Ancient Wiltshire, (1812), 171
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 170-1
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 211
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 211
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 211
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 26-28
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 26-28
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 3
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 3
Richards, J C, The Stonehenge Environs Project, (1990), 184-88
Greenfield, E, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Excavation and Fieldwork in Wiltshire, 1958, , Vol. 57, (1959), 229
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 110-115
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 108-91
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 92-99
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 101-108
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 115-7
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 108
Grimes, W F, 'Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, London' in Excavations in the Lake Group of Barrrows, Wilsford, in 1959, , Vol. 4, (1964), 92-101
Other
2- AP Transcription and Analysis, John Samuals Archaeological Consultants, A 303 - Amesbury to Berwick Down, (1993)

National Grid Reference: SU 11041 40235

Map

Map
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