Bell barrow 700m west of Upper Farm, Grafton

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1012437
Date first listed:
10-Feb-1955
Date of most recent amendment:
27-Jun-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow 700m west of Upper Farm, Grafton
© 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.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-May-2019 at 11:58:53.

Location

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

District:
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Grafton
National Grid Reference:
SU 26440 59055

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 1500-1100 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 Upper Farm barrow is important as it survives comparatively well under permanent grassland and despite some disturbance has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. The significance of the site is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds and evidence for contemporary settlement survive in the area. These give an indication of the intensity with which the downs were occupied during the Bronze Age period.

Details

The monument includes a bell barrow set below the crest of a gentle west- facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound stands to a height of 3m and is 26m in diameter. Surrounding the barrow mound is a raised berm 4m wide surrounded by a steep drop to ground level, possibly representing the area from which material was quarried during construction of the monument. A central depression c.10m across and 1.4m deep on the barrow mound suggests the site was once partially excavated, probably in the 19th century. The mound and berm together have a diameter of 34m.

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:
12278
Legacy System:
RSM

Legal

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

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