Five bowl barrows 600m north-east of Brimslade Farm Cottages: part of the Square Copse barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013332

Date first listed: 16-Oct-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Five bowl barrows 600m north-east of Brimslade Farm Cottages: part of the Square Copse barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wootton Rivers

National Grid Reference: SU 21794 63760


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 some recent disturbance to the site caused by afforestation, much of the Square Copse barrow cemetery survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. The significance of the monument is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within a wider barrow cemetery. Such groups of monuments give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of social organisation in the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes five bowl barrows set on a prominent ridge-top some 5km south of the River Kennet and in an area of undulating chalk downland. Starting from the northern mound and moving anti-clockwise the barrows may be described as follows: a barrow 18m in diameter and 2m high; some 15m to the south-west is a second barrow mound, 22m in diameter and 2m high; 13m to the south is a further bowl barrow, 30m in diameter and 2.5m high; 15m to the east is a mound 19m across and 2m high; 18m further to the east is a fifth barrow mound 30m across and 2.5m high. Although no longer visible as earthworks, all the barrow mounds were surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. These have been infilled over the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide. The monument is part of a wider barrow cemetery comprising seven bowl barrows within an area 450m by 100m.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12246

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing