Bell barrow 400m north-east of Postdown Farm: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012433

Date first listed: 27-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 400m north-east of Postdown Farm: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012433 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 04:57:43.


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

District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lambourn

National Grid Reference: SU 33020 82611


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

Reasons for Designation

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 single 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 which 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.

The Postdown Farm barrow is important as it survives comparatively well under cultivation and, despite partial excavation of the site, has potential for the recovery of additional archaeological remains. The significance of the site is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within the `Seven Barrows' barrow cemetery. Such groups of barrows can 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.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow set on the floor of a dry valley in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. The monument is 35m in diameter and survives under cultivation to a height of 1m. Although no longer visible at ground level, a berm c.5m wide and a ditch c.3m wide, from which mound material was quarried, surround the barrow. The ditch has become infilled over the years and now survives as a buried feature. The site is clearly visible, both as an earthwork on the ground and as a soil mark from the air. The mound was partially excavated in 1978. Finds included the burial of dog in the centre of the mound and a cremation burial in the north side of the monument. A concentration of flint artefacts, believed to be contemporary with the monument, is visible on the surface of the ploughed field surrounding the mound.

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: 12236

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Richards, J, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Lambourn barrow No. 19, , Vol. 45, (1979), 336

End of official listing