Round barrow cemetery on Wash Common.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012811

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery on Wash Common.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 14:52:33.


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

District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Newbury

National Grid Reference: SU 45437 64863


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

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.


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


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: 12075

Legacy System: RSM


Berkshire SMR (1046.02),
NAR (SU 46 SE 5),

End of official listing