Round barrow cemetery at Seven Barrows, Lambourn


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 32889 82893

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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 early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their 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 protection.

The Lambourn barrow cemetery is particularly important as it survives well and, despite partial excavation of some of the barrow mounds, has considerable potential for the recovery of environmental and additional archaeological remains. It exhibits a considerable diversity of barrow types and is therefore an outstanding example of its class.


The monument includes the core of a widely scattered round barrow cemetery set on the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. This part of the cemetery comprises ten barrows arranged in two parallel north-west to south-east rows. Eight of the mounds are bowl barrows, one a disc barrow and one a saucer barrow. The individual monuments can be described as follows: a saucer barrow, 50m in diameter (SU32848296) a ditched bowl barrow, 2m high and 38m in diameter (SU32878293) a ditched bowl barrow, 2m high and 38m in diameter (SU32908292) a small bowl barrow 1m high, 14m in diameter (SU32898290); a ditched double bowl barrow, 2.5m high, 40m by 30m in area (SU32948288) a ditched bowl barrow 2m high, 13m in diameter (SU32998285); a disc barrow 43m in diameter with central mound 14m in diameter (SU32978282); a ditched bowl barrow 38m in diameter, 1.5m high (SU32908286); a bowl barrow, 35m in diameter, 3.5m high (SU32838289); a ditched double bowl barrow, 2.0-2.5m high and 50m by 30m in area (SU32798290). The remaining barrows in the cemetery are dispersed over a wide area around the monument. Many were explored by antiquarians in the late 19th century and numerous finds recorded, including cremation burials and animal bones.

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.

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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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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