Bell barrow on Easton Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013365

Date first listed: 16-Jul-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jan-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow on Easton Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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 06505 66237

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite partial excavation of the Easton Down bell barrow as well as significant stock erosion and burrowing in recent years, much of the monument survives well and has significant archaeological potential. The significance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other round barrows survive in the area as well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence provides a clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a bell barrow set on a small promontory overlooked by higher ground to the east and west. The barrow mound stands to a height of 1.5m and is 22m in diameter. Surrounding the barrow mound are a narrow berm and a ditch from which mound material was quarried. This survives as a low earthwork 4m wide and 0.1m deep. The barrow mound is sited some 130m north- east of a long barrow. The site was partially excavated between 1855 and 1859. Finds included a cremation burial and a grooved bone pin.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 12171

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 6, , Vol. 6, (), 323

End of official listing