Linear barrow cemetery on Hackpen Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013315

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 31-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Linear barrow cemetery on Hackpen Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne Monkton

National Grid Reference: SU 12006 72668


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.

Despite cultivation of the sensitive areas between the barrow mounds and partial excavation of at least one of the mounds in antiquity, much of the Hackpen Hill barrow cemetery remains intact. It has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence for the nature and duration of use of the monument and the environment within which it was constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other round barrows and round barrow cemeteries survive in the area as well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement. This illustrates the intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.


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


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery set on and below the crest of Hackpen Hill in an area of undulating chalk downland. The cemetery comprises five bowl barrows aligned NW-SE and has maximum dimensions of 180m from end to end. The barrow mound at SU11957272 appears as a low earthwork c.25m across and 0.3m high. The mound at SU11977269 is 29m across and stands to a height of 3m. A central hollow 8m across and 0.5m deep is evidence of an early excavation of the site by Passmore in 1921. Finds included a cremation burial in a large upturned urn. The barrow at SU11997267 is 21m in diameter and 1.5m high, while that at SU12027266 is 20m across and 1m high. At the south-eastern end of the cemetery (SU12067264) is a barrow mound 15m across and 1m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, annular ditches surround each barrow mound. It was from these ditches that the material used in the construction of the barrow mounds was quarried. The ditches have been filled in over the years and survive as buried features varying in width between 2 and 3m.

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: 12261

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 42, (), 247

End of official listing