Three Bronze Age barrows 200m NNW of Down Barn forming part of a barrow cemetery situated on North Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013237

Date first listed: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Three Bronze Age barrows 200m NNW of Down Barn forming part of a barrow cemetery situated on North Down
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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 06389 67664


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 and ritual monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (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 and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All examples are considered worthy of protection.

The three bowl barrows 200m NNW of Down Barn form part of a large cemetery situated on North Down. Despite having been partly reduced by cultivation, the barrows will all contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was built.


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


The monument includes three Bronze Age bowl barrows aligned east-west and situated 200m NNW of Down Barn on North Down. The barrows form part of a dispersed barrow cemetery which includes at least 24 barrows. This is one of a number of cemeteries located on the Downs. The three barrows have been partly reduced by cultivation. Those to the east and west are visible at ground level while the central barrow is visible on air photographs. The western barrow has a mound which survives to a diameter of 23.6m and stands up to 0.7m high. However, it is known that the barrow mound originally measured 26m across and is surrounded by a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during its construction. This ditch has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The central barrow is no longer visible at ground level but survives in the form of buried remains with a diameter of c.15m surrounded by a ditch which measures c.2.5m in width. This ditch runs into that surrounding the barrow to the east. The eastern barrow mound measures c.18m across and stands up to 0.6m high. However, it was previously recorded as measuring 22.7m in diameter with a surrounding quarry ditch. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide which is visible on aerial photographs.

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: 21859

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1939), 158
SU 06 NE 080, R.C.H.M.(E), National Archaeological Record,
SU 06 NE 080, R.C.H.M.(E), National Archaeological Record,
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 and other scales Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU 06 NE

End of official listing