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A double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl barrows, 450m south-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows 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: A double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl barrows, 450m south-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery

List entry Number: 1012409

Location

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

County:

District: West Berkshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Lambourn

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Mar-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12238

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the early and middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1600-1300 bc. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as siingle or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments, and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows [particularly multiple barrows] are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples most of whiich are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance. Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the early Bronze Age. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely spaced groups of round barrows) and were constructed as a circular area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and largely occupied by a single low, squat mound covering one or more burials, usually in a pit. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimmes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 known examples nationally, most of which are in Wessex. The presence of grave goods within the barrows provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of Southern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified saucer barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance. The Sevenbarrows Farm barrows are important as the rarer types survive comparatively well and, despite partial excavation of some of the barrow mounds and cultivation of others, they have potential for the further recovery of archaeological remains. The significance of the monument is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within the `Seven Barrows' cemetery. Such groups give an indication of the intensity with which areas were occupied during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of social organisation in the Bronze Age.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl barrows set above the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. The double bell barrow is orientated NE-SW and is 50m long. The northern part of the confluent mounds is 2m high and 36m across; the southern part, which was built against the larger mound, is 1.5m high and 20m across. Both are encircled by a single berm 3m wide and a ditch, from which material for the mounds was quarried. This survives to a width of between 3m and 5m and is up to 0.5m deep. The site was partially excavated in the 1850s. Finds included a cremation burial set in a sarsen cist or box accompanied by a bronze awl and a jet pendant. The saucer barrow lies 10m north of the bell barrow mounds. It is 14m across with the mound surviving to a height of 0.3m. Surrounding the central mound is a ditch 2m wide and 0.2m deep. The outer bank is no longer visible at ground level. The mound was partially excavated in the 1850s. Finds included the crouched burial of a boy as well as flint tools and a pottery beaker. Overlying the boy's skeleton were the bones of an adult male. Immediately to the south of the bell barrow is a bowl barrow 0.1m high and 25m across. Some 30m to the south of that is a further bowl barrow 17m across and 0.3m high. At a distance of 30m further to the south is an additional bowl barrow 20m wide and 0.5m high. A western bowl barrow has been levelled by cultivation although the old ground surface survives. All four bowl barrows are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during construction of the monuments. These have been infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The farm drive which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Thomas, N, Guide to Prehistoric England, (1976), 50
Other
1068.23, Berks SMR (1068.23),

National Grid Reference: SU 32776 82517

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 20-Nov-2017 at 09:46:01.

End of official listing