Bell barrow 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011039

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

National Grid Reference: SU 10047 42378

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. 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 1600-1300 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 are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, many of which are in Wessex and around 30 of which are in the Stonehenge area. This group of monuments will provide important information on the development of this area during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

The bell barrow 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down is an outstanding example of its class and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a bell barrow located 450m south of the A344 and situated on the summit of a broad ridge on Winterbourne Stoke Down, with views south east to the Winterbourne Stoke Crossroads round barrow cemetery. The barrow mound is 25m in diameter and c.3m high and is surrounded by a berm c.6.5m wide. The mound and berm are surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the barrow's construction. This survives as a slight earthwork 0.3m deep and 4.5m wide giving the bell barrow an overall diameter of 47m. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed a large urn and burnt bones.

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: 10344

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 202
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 118

End of official listing