Bowl barrow south of The Cursus on the eastern edge of Fargo Plantation forming part of The Cursus round barrow cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012397

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 01-May-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow south of The Cursus on the eastern edge of Fargo Plantation forming part of The Cursus round barrow cemetery
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Location

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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Amesbury

National Grid Reference: SU 11303 42743

Summary

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 bowl barrow south of the Cursus on the eastern margin of Fargo Plantation survives well and is known from 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 a bowl barrow situated south of the Cursus on the eastern edge of Fargo Plantation with views across a shallow coombe towards Stonehenge and Normanton Down. The monument forms part of the Cursus round barrow cemetery which contains 16 round barrows in all, including seven bowl barrows, six bell barrows, a twin bell barrow and a disc barrow. The barrow has a mound 17m in diameter and 1.5m high, surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. Where visible, the ditch is 5m wide and 0.2m deep, giving an overall diameter of 27m. There is now no trace of the ditch on the west side of the mound, where it survives as a buried feature. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed a primary cremation in a large oblong cist. 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 10338

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 151
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 163

End of official listing