Bell barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012299

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Nov-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 13:08:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishops Cannings

National Grid Reference: SU 06710 68012


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 limited damage due to cultivation, the bell barrow west of Beckhampton Buildings survives well and has considerable archaeological potential. The presence of numerous other barrows and additional evidence for contemporary settlement on and around Bishop's Cannings Down provides a clear indication of the intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age, further enhancing the significance of the monument.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow set above the floor of a dry valley immediately north of Bishops Cannings Down. The barrow mound is 1.5m high and has a diameter of 25m. Although no longer visible at ground level, the mound is surrounded by a level berm c.5m wide and an outer ditch from which material was quarried during construction of the mound. The ditch has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. An outer bank was recorded in the 1950s. Sherds of Middle Bronze Age pottery as well as burnt ox bones have been recorded from the surface of the site.

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: 12186

Legacy System: RSM


Re: bell barrow W Beckhampton Bldgs, Meyrick, O,
Wilts SMR, Re: SU06NE723,

End of official listing