Bowl barrow 275m west of Square Copse: part of the Square Copse barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013364

Date first listed: 27-Jun-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 275m west of Square Copse: 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 21418 63776

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.

Despite cultivation of the site over many years, parts of the barrow west of Square Copse remain intact and have potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence for the nature and the duration of use of the monument and the environment within which it was constructed. The significance of the monument is enhanced by its inclusion within a barrow cemetery. 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 south- facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound survives as a low earthwork 0.7m high and 25m in diameter although it may have been spread by cultivation. Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has filled in over the years and now survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The monument is the westernmost of a dispersed round barrow cemetery, comprising seven barrows.

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: 12252

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing