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Two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows

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: Two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows

List entry Number: 1012381

Location

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

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Amesbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Apr-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10447

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.

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or, as in this case, in round barrow cemeteries. They 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. Bell barrows are rare nationally with only 250 examples known of which thirty are located within the Stonehenge area. 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. The two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of the round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows survive as outstanding examples of their class and are known from recent partial excavation to 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 two bowl barrows and four bell barrows south of The Avenue and 1200m east of Stonehenge, forming a the greater part of a linear round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows. The cemetery, which is aligned north-south, is situated on a prominent ridge which has views westwards across Stonehenge, The Avenue and the Cursus. It contains a total of seven round barrows, all but one of which are included in this scheduling, the seventh barrow is the subject of a separate scheduling. Following the recent clearance of many of the trees which had been planted on and around the barrow mounds, the monument is now clearly visible from Stonehenge and many other monuments in the Stonehenge environs. The barrow mounds are all large, ranging in diameter from 20m to 40m and in height from 2.75m to 4m. The berms of the four bell barrows are narrow, 2m to 5m wide. The mounds of the bowl barrows, and the mounds and berms of the bell barrows, are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These are visible as earthworks between 4m and 9m wide and 0.1m and 0.5m deep in the case of five of the six barrows. The ditch of the bowl barrow near the centre of the cemetery has become infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature. The eastern sectors of the ditches which surround the central barrow and the two bell barrows south of it have been infilled by arable cultivation. Partial excavations of all six of the barrows - following the uprooting of trees by storms in 1987 and 1990 - has revealed the presence of pottery and worked flint of Neolithic and Bronze Age date, indicating the use of the area prior to and during the construction of the monument. It was noted that the mounds were composed mainly of soil, indicating that the original construction was probably in the form of a turf stack. 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
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 6-7
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 8-11
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 11-15
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 7-8
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 6
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 7
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 207
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 207
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 157

National Grid Reference: SU 13453 42241

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012381 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 02:54:47.

End of official listing