Two bowl barrows 380m north east of Straight Walk Plantation: part of a group of round barrows south of Hampshire Gap

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013987

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 380m north east of Straight Walk Plantation: part of a group of round barrows south of Hampshire Gap
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Newton Tony

National Grid Reference: SU 24191 39484

Summary

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 two bowl barrows 380m north east of Straight Walk Plantation, although not within the area of uncultivated downland, are comparatively well preserved examples of their class. Despite some erosion caused by cultivation, they still exhibit a largely original profile and will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two bowl barrows, the most northerly of a group of at least eight round barrows which straddles a shallow coombe south of Hampshire Gap. The barrows, the line of which is orientated north west-south east, lie on a gentle south west facing slope. The larger, most southerly barrow has a mound 26m in diameter and 0.7m high. Surrounding the mound and visible on its north side is a ditch 3m wide which, where not visible on the surface, will survive as a buried feature. The second barrow has a mound 22m in diameter and 0.4m high, in the centre of which are traces of disturbance, possibly resulting from antiquarian excavation carried out by William Cunnington in the early 19th century. Traces of a ditch surrounding the mound are visible on its north side, and elsewhere will survive as a buried feature c.3m wide. Excluded from the scheduling are all archaeological site markers, although the ground beneath them 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 26770

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing