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Eighteen round barrows forming the greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Eighteen round barrows forming the greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery

List entry Number: 1012368

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Amesbury

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Jul-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Apr-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10306

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (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 and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has occurred, contemporary or later 'flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both here and at Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a variety of burial practices. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally and at least 320 in the Stonehenge area. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 examples nationally, at least ten of which are known from the Stonehenge area.

Disc barrows and bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries. Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more central or eccentrically located small, low mounds, covering burials, usually in pits. The burials are normally cremations and are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. The bell barrows were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials often in pits and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials in bell barrows appear to be those of aristocratic individuals and are also frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery vessels. Both types of barrow are rare nationally with only 250 examples of disc barrow known of which 29 are located within the Stonehenge area and 250 examples of bell barrow of which 30 are located within the Stonehenge area.

The group also includes two pond barrows, the rarest form of round barrow, of which about 60 examples are recorded in a distribution largely confined to Dorset and Wiltshire, many of which are within the Stonehenge area.

The Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery survives as an outstanding example of its class, exhibiting fine examples of all the major barrow types. Partial excavation has shown that the barrows forming this greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes 18 round barrows forming the greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery, a nucleated cemetery situated on a ridge with views westwards across the Till valley and eastwards across Stonehenge and Normanton Down. The focal point and origin of the cemetery is a long barrow situated 100m to the south west of the monument, its long axis orientated along the ridge on which the cemetery later developed. The Winterbourne Stoke crossroads cemetery contains 22 round barrows in all, including 14 bowl barrows, three bell barrows, two disc barrows, two pond barrows and a saucer barrow. Ten of the bowl barrows, the saucer barrow and all of the bell, disc and pond barrows are contained within this monument. The other barrows are outliers to the cemetery situated to the south west and north east. Within this group, some of the barrows are ditched and sizes range from 9m to 56m overall diameter. Several have been built in close proximity to each other. Two of the three bell barrows abut, and the south westerly bell barrow has a carefully constructed return in its ditch to accommodate a small pond barrow which pre-dated it. These two bell barrows are of similar size, each with an overall diameter of 28m and heights of 3.75m and 4.25m. The third bell barrow has an overall diameter of 38m and a height of 1.7m. The two disc barrows also abut and are also of similar size, with overall diameters of 52m and 53m, including ditches and outer banks each 4.5m wide. According to a 19th century record, the more northerly possessed three small tumps as originally constructed. The two tumps now visible at the centre are conjoined. The two pond barrows have overall diameters of 22m and 30m, and their depressions are each 1m deep. The saucer barrow is an outlier situated to the south east of the cemetery and is visible in part as a slight earthwork. Of the ten bowl barrows diameters range from 18m to 40m overall, while they vary in height between 0.4m and 1.8m. All were surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These have mostly become infilled over the years, although some are visible as slight earthworks 0.2m to 0.5m deep. With the exception of four of the round barrows, all were partially excavated in the 19th century. Most contained burials or cremations and some contained multiples of both. All were accompanied by a wide assortment of associated grave goods. Finds from the bell barrows are of special interest. The most northerly yielded an inhumation in a boat-shaped coffin accompanied by a dagger and a necklace; one of the pair of bell barrows produced a primary cremation in a clay-covered wooden box together with two daggers, and the other produced a primary inhumation in an elm-trunk coffin, with two daggers and a five-handled Breton type jar. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 221
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 221
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 224
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 212
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 212
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 125-126
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 121
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 124
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 123
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 124-125
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 122
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 123-4
Richards, J C, The Stonehenge Environs Project, (1984), 30-31
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 61, (), 4-5

National Grid Reference: SU 10180 41765

Map

Map
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End of official listing