Group of three bowl barrows 250m north east of Shepherds' Shore
- 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 22-Jul-2019 at 14:49:38.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Bishops Cannings
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 04753 66390
Reasons for Designation
A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial monuments in the
country. 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, normally 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 and around 320 in the Avebury area. This group of
monuments will provide important information on the development of this area
during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. All surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.
Despite having been partially reduced by cultivation, the group of three bowl barrows 250m north east of Shepherds' Shore will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and use. Partial excavation of one of the three barrows has demonstrated the nature of surviving remains at the site.
The monument includes a group of three Bronze Age bowl barrows situated 250m
north east of Shepherds' Shore on Bishop's Cannings Down. The barrows run in a
linear group from north west to south east up a gentle slope. They are part of
a larger distribution of barrows in the area, including a number of barrow
cemeteries east of Wansdyke.
All three barrows have mounds which have been reduced by cultivation and are
only visible as slight earthworks measuring from 10m to 15m in diameter and
standing up to 0.2m high. Surrounding the mounds, but no longer visible at
ground level, are their quarry ditches from which material was obtained during
their construction. These have become infilled over the years and survive as
buried features c.2.5m wide, visible on aerial photographs.
The southern barrow was partially excavated late last century when a crouched
female skeleton was found. There is no record that the other two barrows have
ever been excavated.
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:
AM 107 OCN 493, Williams, S, Round Barrows NE of Shepherds Shore, (1986)
SU 06 NW 012, R.C.H.M. (E), National Archaeological Record, (1973)
SU 06 NW 627, C.A.O., BOWL BARROW EXCAVATED BY THUNHAM, (1980)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU 06 NW
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