Two bowl barrows 400m south of Whitecomb Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013022

Date first listed: 10-Apr-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jan-1991


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 400m south of Whitecomb Plantation
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Aldbourne

National Grid Reference: SU 24721 77073

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite partial excavation of the eastern barrow mound and cultivation of the western barrow mound, much of the Whitecomb Plantation monument, particularly ditch deposits and the buried land surface, remains intact and has significant archaeological potential. The importance of the site is further enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds and additional evidence for contemporary settlement survives in the area. This gives a clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.


The monument includes two bowl barrows, aligned east-west, and set above the floor of a dry valley immediately south of Sugar Hill. The eastern barrow mound is 36m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 1.5m. A ditch, originally dug to provide material for the barrow mound, is no longer visible at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.5m wide surrounding the mound. The western barrow is not visible as an earthwork but survives as a buried feature. The eastern barrow mound was partially excavated by Canon Greenwell, a prolific excavator of barrows, in the late 19th century. Finds included a cremation burial set on a wooden plank within a cairn, a bronze dagger, awls, faience and amber beads and a cup, later to become known as the "Aldbourne Cup".

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12181

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 25, (1959)
'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia, , Vol. 52, ()

End of official listing