Pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Stanton St. Bernard
National Grid Reference:
SU 10337 64856

Reasons for Designation

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the 17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial monuments in the country. 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, normally 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 and around 320 in the Avebury area. This group of monuments will provide important information on the development of this area during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. All surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke is a rare survival nationally. Despite having been reduced by cultivation they are known to survive in the form of earthworks and buried features and will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to their construction and the landscape in which they were built.


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows aligned north east to south west and situated 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down. They were originally part of a small group of three barrows situated close together. The exact location of the third barrow is not known. The barrow mounds have been reduced by cultivation and now form a single spread of material c.16m east-west and 14m north-south standing up to 0.2m high. However, it is known from aerial photographs that both barrows originally had mounds measuring c.12m in diameter. These were surrounded by quarry ditches from which material was obtained during their construction. These merged together between the two mounds and will survive as buried features c.2m wide. In the late 19th century two sherds of Beaker pottery and nine sherds of Bronze Age pottery were found on the site of the barrows. These are now in the Devizes Museum. Excluded from the scheduling is the post and wire fence which runs north-south across the eastern edge of the monument, although the ground beneath is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Meyrick, O, Two beaker and nine Bronze Age sherds from barrow 191(6)
Meyrick, O, Two beaker and nine Bronze Age sherds from barrow 191(6)
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 191
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 191
274-5 FRAMES, R.A.F., C/73/071,
SU 16 SW 610, C.A.O., Two confluent bowl barrows, (1978)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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