Three bowl barrows on Whitepits Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012164

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Whitepits 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: Kingston Deverill

National Grid Reference: ST 83956 38124


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

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. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy prominent locations makes them 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.

The Whitepits Down barrows survive well and, as a group, have potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating to the nature of Bronze Age society in the area and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows set below the crest of a steep south-facing slope overlooking the upper Wylye Valley. The western barrow mound is 13m across and 0.7m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during construction of the monument. This has become partly infilled over the years but survives as an earthwork 1.5m wide and 0.5m deep. A hollow in the centre of the mound is evidence of partial excavation of the site by Colt-Hoare in the 19th century. Abutting the north-east side of the ditch is a small bowl barrow 8m across and 0.5m high. The ditch surrounding the mound survives as a buried feature c.2m wide on all but the south-west side of the mound. Some 10m to the south-east is a further bowl barrow. The mound is 9m across and 0.4m high while a ditch 1m wide and 0.3m deep can be seen to the south-east and survives as a buried feature elsewhere.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 12325

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Re: Whitepits Down Barrow, , Vol. 56, (), 182

End of official listing