Bell barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012195

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Sep-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ogbourne St. Andrew

National Grid Reference: SU 16240 73173


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

Reasons for Designation

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 [particularly multiple barrows] are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite partial excavation of the Rockley Plantation barrow mound, much of the monument, particularly the buried soil and ditch deposits, remains intact and survives comparatively well. The site therefore has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds survive in the area, providing an illustration of the intensity with which it was settled during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow set at the head of a south-facing dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland known as Ogbourne Maizey Down. The barrow mound is 20m in diameter and 4m high. A central hollow, orientated east-west and c.5m across, is evidence of partial excavation of the barrow mound, probably in the late 19th century. Around the edge of the barrow mound and visible as an earthwork on all but the north-east side, is a sloping berm 6m wide. Beyond the berm is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This is no longer visible at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. A number of sarsen blocks are visible on the surface of the mound, although these are more likely to be the result of field clearance rather than forming part of the structure of the mound.

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: 12206

Legacy System: RSM


28 March 1990, Schofield, A J, 28 March 1990, (1990)

End of official listing