Bowl barrow 750m NNE of Easton Down Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013986

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 750m NNE of Easton Down 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: Winterslow

National Grid Reference: SU 23841 35805


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

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 protection.

The bowl barrow 750m NNE of Easton Down Farm is a well preserved example of its class. Small barrows are particularly vulnerable to erosion but this example exhibits a largely original profile. Part excavation has served to confirm the dating of the barrow and has provided evidence of an unusual burial rite. Within its remaining buried deposits, the barrow will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a ditched bowl barrow, lying on comparatively level ground 50m north east of the junction of two extensive linear boundary earthworks on Easton Down. The barrow has a mound 9m in diameter and 0.4m high surrounded by a shallow ditch 1.5m wide. The barrow was discovered by J F S Stone in the early 1930s and was partly excavated by him shortly afterwards. The excavation showed that the barrow mound was made of chalk excavated from the surrounding ditch and that it covered a central grave. This, for the size of the barrow mound, was surprisingly large, measuring 1.7m by 0.96m and was cut 0.3m into the underlying chalk. The grave contained only a human skull, deliberately buried and not part of a disturbed burial, accompanied by a roughly shaped flint implement.

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: 26768

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Stone, J F S, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in A Case of Bronze Age Cephalotaphy on Easton Down, , Vol. Vol 46, (1934), 563-7

End of official listing