Group of three bowl barrows 250m north east of Shepherds' Shore


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013232

Date first listed: 10-Nov-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Group of three bowl barrows 250m north east of Shepherds' Shore
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishops Cannings

National Grid Reference: SU 04753 66390


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

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.


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


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: 21869

Legacy System: RSM


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)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU 06 NW

End of official listing