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Bell barrow situated south of The Cursus and east of Fargo Plantation forming part of The Cursus 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: Bell barrow situated south of The Cursus and east of Fargo Plantation forming part of The Cursus round barrow cemetery

List entry Number: 1012398

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: 01-May-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10339

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 in round barrow cemeteries. 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. Bell barrows are rare nationally with only 250 examples known of which 30 are located within the Stonehenge area.

The bell barrow situated south of the Cursus and east 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 bell barrow situated south of the Cursus and east of Fargo Plantation with views across a shallow combe 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 35m in diameter and 1.5m high, surrounded by a berm which is no longer visible, and a ditch 4m wide and 0.2m deep, giving an overall diameter of 43m. The ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, is most obvious on the west of the mound but difficult to distinguish elsewhere. It does, however, survive as a buried feature. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed a primary inhumation with a beaker and two secondary inhumations. Further partial excavation in 1960 revealed evidence of a berm surrounding the central mound and finds which included decayed leather, and a contracted inhumation burial lying beneath a tapered board and accompanied by a long-necked beaker and various implements. The ditch silt contained a bell beaker and another contracted inhumation. Fragments of blue-stone were also found.

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), 151
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 163
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 4
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 64, (), 134
Ashbee, P, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Amesbury Barrow 51: Excavation 1960, , Vol. 70-71, (1975), 1-60

National Grid Reference: SU 11427 42727

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 12:57:09.

End of official listing