Bowl barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013326

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe 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: Grafton

National Grid Reference: SU 27377 58097

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.

The Wexcombe Down bowl barrow survives well with no evidence for excavation of the site. It has good 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 significance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other burial monuments survive in the immediate area. Such groups of monuments give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period as well as the variety of beliefs and organisation present within society at that time.


The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a gentle NW-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound survives as a low earthwork 1m high and 12m in diameter. Surrounding the barrow mound is a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has filled in over the years but survives as a low earthwork 0.3m deep and 2m across to the NE and SW of the mound, and as a buried feature elsewhere.

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: 12255

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing