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Five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge Down

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: Five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge Down

List entry Number: 1012383

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-Jun-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 01-May-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10368

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.

The round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge survives well, and is known from partial excavation and geophysical survey 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 five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a nucleated round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge Down, situated on an east facing slope with views across Stonehenge towards New King Barrows. The Stonehenge Down round barrow cemetery contains eight round barrows in all, including six bowl barrows, an oval bowl barrow and a disc barrow.

The two most westerly of the barrow mounds contained within this monument have diameters of 35m, the easterly three range between 13m and 26m. All the barrow mounds are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. The ditch around the most westerly barrow and that around the most easterly are visible as slight earthworks 3m and 2m wide respectively, giving overall diameters of 41m and 30m. The ditches around the other three are now difficult to identify on the ground having become infilled over the years, but are calculated to range between 1.5 and 3m in width, giving overall diameters ranging from 16m to 41m.

The most north westerly barrow mound is 0.7m high, the others range between 0.2m and 0.4m in height. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed that the north western barrow had once contained an inhumation in an oblong cist which had been removed previously, and that the barrow 60m to the north east of it contained a possible primary cremation.

These barrows have recently been the subject of a geophysical survey which confirmed the survival of archaeological remains.

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), 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
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 128
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 128
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in No 5, , Vol. 38, (), 165

National Grid Reference: SU 12028 42121

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 02:12:41.

End of official listing