Two bowl barrows situated south of The Cursus and east of Fargo Plantation forming part of The Cursus round barrow cemetery
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Oct-2019 at 08:21:13.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 11525 42785
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
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.
Despite the reduced height of the more southerly barrow, the two bowl barrows south of the Cursus will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Aerial photographs have shown that the ditch fills survive undisturbed, while deposits located on the Bronze Age ground surface will survive beneath the area of the levelled southern mound.
The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned north-south and situated south
of the Cursus and east of Fargo Plantation, forming part of the Cursus round
barrow cemetery. The location has views across a shallow combe towards
Stonehenge and Normanton Down. The Cursus round barrow cemetery contains 16
round barrows in all, including seven bowl barrows, six bell barrows, a twin
bell barrow and a disc barrow.
The mound of the northerly barrow is oval, 25m by 20m across and 0.5m high,
but the mound of the southern barrow is now difficult to identify on the
ground, having been levelled by cultivation. Both barrow mounds were
surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their
construction. The ditch of the northern barrow is visible on the south side of
the mound as a slight earthwork 5m wide and 0.2m deep, giving an overall size
of 35m by 30m. The ditch of the southerly barrow is visible on aerial
photographs from which the overall diameter is calculated to be 6m.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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), 2
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing