Round barrow cemetery on Wash Common.
- 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 26-May-2019 at 04:10:09.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 45437 64863
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 Wash Common barrow cemetery is of particular importance as it survives well, contains a disc barrow which are relatively uncommon in this area and, with no evidence for formal excavation, has considerable archaeological potential. The monument forms the core of a wider barrow cemetery which extends a further 100m to the east. Such concentrations give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period.
The monument includes two bowl barrows and a disc barrow, set within a
barrow cemetery on level ground at Wash Common, Newbury. All are situated
within 150m of each other and are broadly aligned from SE to NW. The disc
barrow at SU45426491 survives as a low circular earthen bank 0.3m high with
an external ditch c.2m wide and 0.4m deep. The overall diameter of the
earthwork is 50m. The bowl barrow at SU45446484 is situated immediately to
the south of the disc barrow. It is a large ditched mound 2.5m high and
25m across. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material for the
mound was quarried. This appears as an earthwork to the west of the mound
where it survives to a width of 4m and is 0.4m deep. The bowl barrow at
SU45486480 survives as a slight earthwork with a diameter of c.22m, visible
in low light. All the barrows were believed by local tradition to cover the
remains of soldiers killed in the first Battle of Newbury (1643) fought
nearby. Memorial stones to this effect are situated on two barrow mounds
c.100m to the east.
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 (1046.02),
NAR (SU 46 SE 5),
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