Pair of bell barrows and a pair of bowl barrows forming part of a barrow cemetery at Baltic Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013775

Date first listed: 10-Nov-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Pair of bell barrows and a pair of bowl barrows forming part of a barrow cemetery at Baltic Farm
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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 04510 66588

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 and ritual monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (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 and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All examples are considered worthy of protection.

The pair of bowl barrows and the pair of bell barrows forming part of the cemetery at Baltic Farm survive well and are known from part excavations to contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction of the cemetery and the landscape in which it was built.


The monument includes a pair of bell barrows and a pair of bowl barrows which, along with a further bell barrow to the north east, form a round barrow cemetery at Baltic Farm on North Down. This cemetery is one of a number of barrow cemeteries located on the Downs. The barrows are aligned broadly north east to south west. The bell barrow at the western end of the group has a mound 19m in diameter which stands up to 3m high. It is surrounded by a 4.5m wide berm around which lies a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during the construction of the mound. This ditch is no longer visible at ground level but survives as a buried feature c.5.5m wide. The barrow was partially excavated by Colt-Hoare who found a cremation burial near the centre of the mound. Immediately to the east and between the two bell barrows lies a bowl barrow, the mound of which measures c.8m in diameter and 0.9m high. There is no evidence that this barrow was ever surrounded by a ditch and it appears to have been deliberately placed between the two bell barrows at a slightly later date. When partly excavated by Cunnington this barrow was found to contain a cremation burial accompanied by a shale or jet ornament and a bone pin. The barrow may also have been excavated by Colt-Hoare who found a further cremation just to the north. The eastern bell barrow mound measures 17m in diameter and stands up to 2.4m high. Although no longer visible, its outer berm is known to measure c.4m across and is surrounded by a 5m wide quarry ditch. Both Cunnington and Colt-Hoare carried out partial excavations on this mound. At the eastern end of the monument is a second bowl barrow. This has a mound which measures 13m in diameter and 0.9m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, it is surrounded by a 2m wide quarry ditch which can be seen on aerial photographs.

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: 21889

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 208
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 208
Hoare, R C, Ancient Wiltshire, (1812), 92
Hoare, R C, Ancient Wiltshire, (1812), 92
SU06NW 621, C.A.O., BELL BARROW, (1992)
SU06NW 623, C.A.O., BOWL BARROW, (1992)
The Baltic Farm barrows arch. history, JEFFERY, P.P., DISCUSSION WITH MR R. CANHAM (C.A.O.), (1994)
The find is not catalogued or located, Jeffery, P P, Shale or Jet Ornament and Bone Pin barrow 30, (1994)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Series Source Date: 1960 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Source Date: 1960 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing