Round barrow cemetery at Brimpton Common


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery at Brimpton Common
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Oct-2019 at 08:59:05.


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

West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 57725 62629

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The Brimpton Common barrow cemetery is of particular importance as it survives well and, with no evidence for formal excavation of the site and despite disturbance to the eastern barrow mound, much of the monument has considerable archaeological potential. The monument forms the core of a wider barrow cemetery which includes two further bell barrows. Such groups give a clear indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period.


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery on Brimpton Common. The cemetery comprises four barrows, three of which are bell barrows and one a bowl barrow. The barrows are orientated ENE-WSW with a maximum distance of 250m from one end to the other. The barrow at SU57636258 is a bowl barrow surviving as a low earthwork. It stands to a height of 0.5m and has a diameter of 30m. The barrow at SU57706261 is a bell barrow visible on both sides of a fenceline. The site has a diameter of 30m and survives to a height of 1m. Surrounding the mound are a narrow berm and an outer ditch from which material for the mound was quarried. This survives as a slight earthwork in places but as a buried feature elsewhere. The bell barrow at SU57756265 has an overall diameter of 35m, is 2m high and comprises a central mound, narrow berm and an outer ditch 4m wide and 0.4m deep. A further bell barrow at SU57816267 has a diameter of 60m. The central mound is 25m across and stands to a height of 1.5m. Surrounding the mound is a berm 12m wide and a ditch 5m wide and 0.3m deep.

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:


Berkshire SMR (1036.04),
NAR (SU 56 SE 4),


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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