Bowl barrow 650m ESE of Manor Farm: one of a group of round barrows on Porton Down
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1013975
Date first listed: 11-Mar-1996
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Feb-2019 at 07:48:25.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SU 21121 35958
Reasons for Designation
Since 1916 the Porton Down Range has been used for military purposes. As on
the Salisbury Plain Training Area, this has meant that it has not been subject
to the intensive arable farming seen elsewhere on the Wessex chalk. Porton, as
a result, is one of very few surviving areas of uncultivated chalk downland in
England and contains a range of well-preserved archaeological sites, many of
Neolithic or Bronze Age date. These include long barrows and round barrows,
flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture.
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 organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
The bowl barrow 650m ESE of Manor Farm, although not within the area of uncultivated downland, is a comparatively well preserved example of its class. Despite some erosion caused by cultivation, it still exhibits a largely original profile and will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment.
The monument includes a ditched bowl barrow, part of a group of at least six
round barrows which lie mainly on the gentle south facing side of a dry valley
on Porton Down.
The barrow, which lies on the crest of a low eminence in the base of the dry
valley, has a mound 22m in diameter and 0.7m high. Traces of disturbance to
the centre of the mound may be the results of unrecorded antiquarian
excavation. Surrounding the mound is a ditch which, although no longer visible
on the surface, will survive as a buried feature c.3m wide.
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: 26778
Legacy System: RSM
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